SBI has started charging more from its millions of account holders, including those of the six lenders merged with it this month, for not maintaining minimum balance as well as for services like cheque books and lockers.


The SBI decision to raise charges on various services is likely to be followed by other banks, hitting customers across the country.


These charges will also apply to customers of 5 erstwhile associates and Bharatiya Mahila Bank which have merged with State Bank of India effective April 1. With the merger, the SBI customer base has increased to 37 crores.


India's largest bank has now decided to fix separate MABs for 'metro', 'urban', 'semi-urban' and 'rural' areas from the beginning of next financial year.


Here are the charges and other details related to account balance:


1. The monthly average balance (MAB) requirement has been increased to as high as ₹5,000 for branches in six metros. Penalty for non-maintenance of minimum balance will be between ₹50 and ₹100.


2.  MAB for urban branches has been fixed at ₹3,000.


3. MAB for semi-urban is ₹2,000. 


4. In the case of rural branches, the minimum balance has been fixed at ₹1,000.


5. Breach of MAB will attract a penalty ranging between ₹20 and ₹50.


Also READ: SBI to charge for not maintaining minimum balance from April 1


6. If one maintain ₹25,000 in your SBI savings account, then the customer can use ATM unlimited number of time. However, the charges of ATM usage over allowed five times will attract charges as prescribed by RBI. 


7. The bank has also increased locker rent and curtailed number of free locker usage in a year. After usage 12 times, the customer has to pay Rs 100 plus service tax applicable for visiting his or her locker.


8. As far as cheque books are concerned, for a current account holder, the first 50 cheques free in a financial year. Thereafter, it will cost ₹3 per leaf.  So 25-leaf Cheque Book now costs ₹75 plus service tax, and 50-leaf Cheque Book cost is ₹150 excluding service tax.


9. SBI will now charge ₹20 for an opening fee including enrolment for savings account among other various charges that the bank has raised.


The benchmark for MAB and penalties are likely to be followed by other public sector banks.


However, these new rates effective from April 1 are not applicable on Surabhi, Basic Savings Bank and PM Jan Dhan Yojana accounts.