The central government had relieved from maintaining ATM withdrawal charges and average minimum balance (AMB) immediately after the announcement of the lockdown. The duration of this central government relaxation ends June 30. No information for pursuing this exemption has been given so far.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a special announcement during the last week of March for crores of bank account holders, following the declaration of the first lockdown in the world. The finance minister told the press conference on March 24 that keeping an ‘AMB-Average Minimum Balance’ in any bank savings account for three months would not be mandatory. This took effect in April, May and June. So far the Finance Ministry or any bank has not clarified whether this exemption will be extended further or not.
This government decision meant that if there is no average minimum balance in a Savings Bank account throughout these three months, then the banks can not charge a penalty on it. Each bank sets its own minimum balance. Every month, those average amounts must be kept in the account. Failure to do so, the bank charges customers a penalty. However, no details about extending this exemption from June has been released so far.
Well before the central government ‘s announcement, India’s State Bank had said it is eliminating the average minimum balance condition on all savings bank accounts.
Before, keeping a minimum of Rs 3,000 in SBI Savings Account in metro cities was mandatory. Likewise, this amount was Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 for semi-urban and rural areas respectively. SBI used to charge customers Rs 5-15 plus tax for not having the minimum balance.
ATM withdrawal charge
Relief from the ATM withdrawal charge was also issued, along with the average minimum balance, relief from the tax on ATM withdrawal tax was also given by the central government. The Finance Minister said debit cardholders can take three months to withdraw cash from the ATM of any bank. For that, they won’t have to pay any charge. During this time, Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of State for Finance, had said this decision was taken so that at least a number of people go to bank branches to withdraw cash.
Talking about two major private sector banks, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank are mandating a minimum balance. If you do not, the customers will incur a fixed charge. A three-month government exemption is also applicable to those banks, however. Let us know what the minimum balance requirement rules are in those two banks.
What is the minimum balance rule in HDFC Bank?
If a customer has started opening a savings account with HDFC Bank in metro or urban areas. Then keeping at least 10,000 thousand rupees in their account every month is mandatory. Similarly, this limit is Rs 5000 and Rs 2,500 in semi-urban and rural areas, respectively. In rural areas’ savings account, if one does not have Rs 2,500, then it is compulsory. It is to get a fixed deposit of at least Rs 10,000 for one day per year.
What is the rule in ICICI Bank?
That requirement is Rs 10,000 in metro or urban areas for a savings account with ICICI Bank. For semi-urban areas, it is Rs 5,000 and rural areas it is Rs 2,000. The minimum balance in some rural areas of the Sudur is limited to Rs 1000. ICICI Bank charges Rs 100 from customers in the metro, urban and semi-urban areas on the non-maintenance. It is of the minimum balance and 5 per cent of the lesser amount.