The new financial year will begin with a new set of charges and higher penalties for customers of private banks. Most large private banks, including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, have announced a hike in charges ahead of the new rules kicking in April 1, for penalty on non-maintenance of minimum average balance in savings accounts.
Banks are also introducing charges to nudge customers to use digital channels and move away from physical instruments such as cheques. In November last year, RBI had asked banks to impose from April 1 a penalty which would be proportionate to the shortfall in minimum balance. Banks are also required to inform the account holder through email or SMS of imminent charges when the balance requirement is breached. Thirdly, banks are barred from creating negative balances by imposing charges on the grounds that charges will be deducted from future deposits.
Some banks have also doubled charges for locker rentals and introduced new charges for re-generation of PIN at branches and for notes deposited in cash-accepting machines beyond one deposit per month.