The Telegraph
Wednesday , May 7 , 2014
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Minimum balance headache gone

Fee relief

Mumbai, May 6: The Reserve Bank today asked banks not to levy penalties on customers who don’t maintain a minimum balance in a dormant account.

“It is advised that henceforth banks are not permitted to levy penal charges for non-maintenance of minimum balances in any inoperative account,” the RBI said.

Several banks, including the State Bank of India, do not levy any charge if the minimum balance is not maintained in a dormant savings account.

The RBI directed banks in 2012 not to charge customers for non-operation or activation of basic savings bank deposit accounts.

For operative accounts, customers of ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank are charged Rs 750 per quarter if they don’t maintain a minimum average quarterly balance of Rs 10,000 in urban centres and Rs 5,000 in semi-urban areas.

In the first bi-monthly monetary policy statement for 2014-15, released last month, the RBI had said banks should also not take undue advantage of customer difficulty or inattention.

“Instead of levying penal charges for non-maintenance of minimum balance in ordinary savings bank accounts, banks should limit services available on such accounts to those available to basic savings bank deposit accounts and restore the services when the balances improve to the minimum required level.”

Accounts of minors

Minors above 10 years can open and operate independently savings bank account and use other facilities such as ATM and cheque books, the RBI said.

Earlier, minors were permitted to open fixed and savings deposit bank account with mothers as guardian.