The State Bank of India on Wednesday cut interest rates on all savings bank accounts to a flat 3% and also waived minimum balance requirements. Till now, the interest rate on savings bank accounts was 3.25% for deposits up to Rs 1 lakh, and 3% for deposits above Rs 1 lakh.
Earlier in the day, SBI reduced its fixed deposit rates and marginal cost of funds-based lending rates on various tenors.
The bank also said in a statement that it has waived SMS charges, in the interest of promoting the “Customer First” approach.
“The charges on maintaining AMB [Average Monthly Balance] are now waived off on all 44.51 crore SBI savings bank accounts,” it added. Presently, SBI customers need to maintain a balance of Rs 3,000, Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 in metro, semi-urban and rural areas, respectively. The bank levies a penalty of Rs 5 to Rs 15 plus taxes on non-maintenance of Average Monthly Balance.
“The decision by @TheOfficialSBI to remove minimum balance requirement in its savings accounts will immensely help middle class and poor and improve ease of living,” Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman said in a tweet.
More banks are likely to follow the country’s largest lender in cutting interest rates and waiving or reducing minimum balance requirements.