New Delhi: India’s largest bank State Bank of India on Tuesday announced that it is not charging savings bank account customers for non-maintenance of minimum balance and that it has waived SMS charges as well. The lender tweeted, “Good news for SBI Savings Account holders! Now you don’t have to pay charges for SMS service and non-maintenance of monthly average balance. #SavingsAccount #SMSCharges #MAB #SBI #StateBankOfIndia”.
It is worth noting that SBI has over 44 crore savings accounts. This change is for all SBI savings accounts that have internet banking and cheque book facilities meaning the waiver of charges is all applicable for all accounts. However, one must remember that SBI offers a higher number of free ATM transactions to those who maintain a higher balance in their savings accounts.
For example, account holders who maintain balance of over Rs 1 lakh balance in their account get the benefit of an unlimited number of free ATM transactions in a month. Currently, the lender pays an interest rate of 2.7% on savings bank account deposits.
Earlier this year in March, SBI had announced that it will waive charges for non-maintenance of average monthly balance (AMB) for all savings bank accounts. Before this change, SBI savings bank customers had to maintain an average monthly balance of Rs 3000, Rs 2000 and Rs 1000 in metro, semi-urban and rural areas respectively. The bank used to levy a penalty of Rs 5 to Rs 15 plus taxes on non-maintenance of average monthly balance.
It is worth mentioning here is that SBI is the largest commercial bank in the country in terms of assets, deposits, branches, customers, and employees. As on March 31, 2020, the bank has a deposit base of over Rs 32 lakh crore. The bank has the largest network of over 22,000 branches in India with an ATM, Cash Deposit Machine (CDM) network of over 58,000 and total BC outlets of more than 61,000.