Leading private banks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank have decided to hike service charges from next month. They have already started intimating customers, through their websites, on changes in their service charges, with effect from April 1, 2015.
ICICI Bank will now charge Rs 350 per month from April 1, instead of Rs 250 per month, on the non-maintenance of minimum monthly average balance (MAB) in savings account, of above Rs 5,000 but below Rs 10,000, for metro and urban locations. In case your minimum monthly average balance of less than Rs 5,000, as a customer, you will be charged Rs 450 per month instead of Rs 350, from April 1 onwards. At the same time, customers in semi-urban locations will be charged Rs Rs 300 per month as against the earlier Rs 250 per month, on the non-maintenance of minimum monthly average balance in savings account of above Rs 2,500 and above Rs 5,000 and Rs 400 per month if the minimum monthly average balance in savings account is less than Rs 2,500, from the earlier Rs 350 per month.
The bank in its website stated, “In the event of non-maintenance of minimum MAB, the bank will notify the customer by SMS or email or letter that in the event of the minimum balance not being restored in the account in the subsequent month, non-maintenance of MAB charges will be applicable. In case the customer has not maintained MAB for any consecutive month, non-maintenance of MAB charges shall be applicable for all consecutive months. The Bank will notify the customer in the initial month only in case of non-maintenance of MAB in consecutive months.”
In case of HDFC Bank, its customers will have to pay Rs 75 for additional cheque book of 25 leaves. Kotak Mahindra Bank too has stated on its website that there will be an upward revision in its charges, depending on the type of account and balance, for customers.
“In the event of a default in maintenance of Average Quarterly Balance (AQB) as agreed to between the bank and customer for the quarter, the bank will notify the customer clearly of the default and that the AQB for the account has to be met in the subsequent quarter (referred to as ‘notice quarter’) else the NMC (non maintenance charges) for both the ‘default quarter’ and ‘notice quarter’ will be recovered,” Kotak Mahindra Bank said.
Banks are repeatedly asking their customers to furnish them with correct information on their email id, mobile number and address, so that customers can receive timely notifications.
In November 2014, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had asked banks to inform customers on the penalties for MAB. The RBI, in its notification, has clearly stated that banks will have to alert customers by way of SMS, email or a letter that in the event of the minimum balance not being restored in the account within a month from the date of notice, penal charges will be applicable.
“In case the minimum balance is not restored within a reasonable period, which shall not be less than one month from the date of notice of shortfall, penal charges may be recovered under intimation to the account holder,” it added.