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Bank customers to pay more service charges

ICICI Bank customers who do not maintain quarterly average balance (QAB) will be charged Rs 50 per transaction instead of Rs 25 per transaction earlier.

business Updated: Apr 23, 2007 00:39 IST

Bank customers will soon have to pay more for availing services like ATM cash withdrawal and cheque returns as lenders led by ICICI Bank and UTI Bank have hiked the fees for such operations if a minimum balance of Rs 5,000 is not maintained in accounts.

"The revision is only in certain categories and has been benchmarked with the industry," an ICICI Bank spokesperson said, adding that new rates would be applicable from July 1.

ICICI Bank customers who do not maintain quarterly average balance (QAB) will be charged Rs 50 per transaction instead of Rs 25 per transaction earlier. These charges would be after they avail of five free ATM transactions as against the earlier six during a quarter.

A debit card PIN regeneration through a branch will now be charged Rs 25.

In case of inward cheque return, charges have been hiked to Rs 350 from the present Rs 200, the spokesperson said. All these charges are in addition to 12 per cent service tax and 3 per cent educational cess.

The bank is already charging as much as Rs 750 for every three-month period if any customer fails to maintain a minimum average of Rs 5,000 per quarter. For receiving monthly statements, the bank is charging Rs 200 from the customer.

UTI Bank has also hiked certain charges for customers who maintain to fail QAB of Rs 5,000, while some other banks are also planning to hike service charges.

"We have not increased service charges but only hiked penal charges from Rs 500 to Rs 750 for non-maintenance of quarterly balance. For returning cheques, charges have been hiked from Rs 250 to Rs 350," UTI Bank's Vice-President (Liabilities) Anindya Mitra told the agency.

Centurion Bank of Punjab's Business Director, Wealth Management, Distribution and Loans, Harpreet Singh, said: "We are not currently increasing our charges and will review the situation after three months."

Meanwhile, Punjab National Bank Executive Director K Raghuraman said: "Our service charges are static for the past 4-5 years and in the near future we do not plan any hike."

Notably, RBI has instructed the banks not to levy exorbitant service charges and provide detailed information to the customers about these charges.

A study group of RBI has also invited public suggestions on whether banks should impose charges on making payments through cheques to encourage customers to use electronic mode of money transfer.

However, another leading private lender HDFC Bank has no immediate plans to hike these charges.

"We have no plans of the sort as of now," a HDFC Bank spokesperson said.

The bank also requires the maintenance of a minimum quarterly balance of Rs 5,000.