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Centre tells SBI to put off fine over a/c balance

New Delhi: After the public criticism, the Central government on Monday has reportedly asked state-owned State Bank of India (SBI) to reconsider its decision to levy penalty on non-maintenance of minimum balance in saving accounts from April 1 impacting over 31 crore account holders.

The government is learnt to have also urged SBI and other lenders, including private sector banks to “reconsider the charges on cash transactions and ATM withdrawals above a certain limit”.

HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank among others have started charging a minimum amount of Rs 150 per transaction for cash deposits and withdrawals beyond four free transactions in a month.

SBI was planning to reintroduce penalty for not maintaining minimum balance in saving accounts after a gap of five years. SBI had said that it will impose penalty ranging from Rs 20-Rs 100 on non-maintenance of Minimum Average Balance in savings bank accounts from April 1.

The penalty is as high as Rs 500 in case of current accounts. The bank has also increased the minimum balance requirement by many times, which is as high as `5,000 for accou-nt maintained with branches in six metros.

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