State Bank of India, India's largest public sector lender, has revised charges for its various services including ATM transactions, fund transfer, cash withdrawals, deposits and disbursement of debit cards and cheque book among others. Aside, the bank has also waived off the monthly limits on the internet and mobile banking transactions. Therefore, SBI customers will soon enjoy unlimited transactions without any burden of maintaining a fixed saving account balance every month. The revised rules and charges will come into effect from October 1, 2019.
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Here is a quick look at the revised rules and charges:
- Monthly average balance: The average monthly balance (AMB) for urban centres has been reduced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 3,000. Under the new rule, savings bank accounts having less than Rs 3,000 will be charged a fine up to Rs 15 excluding GST. While accounts falling short of AMB by 50 per cent (Rs 1,500) will be fined Rs 10 plus GST, customers who go short by over 75 per cent will be imposed with a penalty of Rs 15 along with GST.
- Fund transfer: SBI waived charges on National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) through internet and mobile banking from July 1, after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to do away with the charges with an aim to move the country towards less-cash economy. However, conducting fund transfers at an SBI branch will attract a charge based on the amount. Before July 1, SBI used to charge between Re 1 and Rs 5 for transactions through NEFT, and Rs 5-50 for RTGS route.
- Deposits: Cash deposits in the savings account will be free for up to 3 transactions every month. Post that the account holder will be charged Rs 50 plus excluding GST per transaction. The maximum limit for deposit of cash at a non-home branch is Rs 2 lakh per day.
- Withdrawals: Account holders who maintain an AMB of Rs 25,000 are allowed to conduct two free cash withdrawals in a month. Customers with AMB between Rs 25,000 and 50,000 can avail 10 free cash withdrawals per month. Those with AMB in the Rs 50,000-1 lakh bracket will get 15 free cash withdrawals. However, there will be no limit of transactions for those who maintain a AMB of over Rs 1 lakh. The fine for transactions beyond the free limit is Rs 50 plus GST.
- Free ATM transactions: Customers with AMB of up to Rs 25,000 in their savings accounts, can enjoy five financial and non-financial free transactions at SBI ATMs. Account holders with higher AMB can conduct limitless transactions in a month. Besides, customers in non-metro cities irrespective of their AMB can avail five free transactions every month at non-SBI ATMs. Customers in the metros is three free transactions at other bank ATMs.
- Charge on transactions beyond free limit: Financial transactions beyond the mentioned limits will attract a charge of Rs 10 plus GST at SBI's ATMs and Rs 20 at non-SBI ATMs. Non-financial transactions will cost Rs 5-8 plus GST depending on the ATM used. This covers services such as balance enquiry, placing a cheque book request, payment of taxes and funds transfers. Declined transactions due to insufficient balance will incur a fee of Rs 20 plus GST.
- Inter-changeability: SBI allows one-way inter-changeability between branch and ATM transactions. This means that a customer with AMB of up to Rs 25,000 will be allowed a maximum of 10 free debit transactions in metro cities provided they use SBI ATMs and do not avail of the two free cash withdrawal transactions at the branch. Similarly, those in the non-metros can enjoy up to 12 free debit transactions.
- Repo Rate: As directed by the Reserve Bank Of India, the SBI, from October 1, will adopt repo rate as the external benchmark for all floating rate loans for MSME, home and retail loans.
- Floating Rate Home Loans: The floating rate home loans introduced on July 1, 2019 has also been modified to comply with the latest regulatory guidelines released by the RBI.
- Charges for getting a debit card: Not all debit cards offered by the bank are free. SBI charges Rs 100 for issuing a Gold Debit Card and Rs 300 for the platinum card, excluding GST. In addition, if your ATM card or kit is returned by the courier due to wrong address submission, you will have to pay a little over Rs 100.
- Revised Cheque Book Rules: As per the new SBI guidelines, the lender has decreased the number of pages in its cheque books for customers. From October 1 onwards, only 10 cheques will be issued free of cost instead of 25 for a savings account holder in a financial year. Post that, customers will have to pay Rs 40 service tax instead of earlier Rs 30 for a 10-leaf cheque book.
- Cheque Bounce Charges: The SBI has also increased the penalty charges imposed on an account holder in case of a cheque bounce. However, he penalty charges vary from one bank to another, and are different for different account types.
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SBI is the largest commercial bank across India in terms of assets, deposits, branches, customers and employees. It is also the largest mortgage lender in the country. The bank has the largest network of 22,010 branches in the country and an ATM/CDM (cash deposit machine) network of over 58,000.
After announcing its decision to waive all charges on fund transfer through RTGS and NEFT systems from July 1, the RBI had also asked banks to pass on the benefits to customers from the same day. In the Union Budget, Finance Minister Sitharaman too announced steps to promote digital transactions.