State Bank of India (SBI), to attract new customers, has done away with the minimum balance criteria for saving banks account.

The bank will not levy any charge for breaching the minimum balance criteria.

The facility is available to existing customers also, SBI said in an advertisement.

For the normal SBI savings account with cheque book facility, a customer had to maintain a minimum balance of Rs.1,000 in his or her account failing which it attracts penalty.

There are certain saving account products of the bank where the minimum monthly balance is as low as Rs.50.

Depending on the features and facility, the minimum average monthly balance varies.

The waiver would help the bank in improving the customer base, an official said, adding that it would also help the bank in generating low cost deposits as the savings bank account earned interest rate of just 4 per cent.

As of March, 2012, SBI had 15.39 crore saving banks accounts. During 2011-12, the bank opened 2.19 crore such accounts. On the other hand, the minimum balance requirement for savings bank account of private sector bank such as ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank is Rs.10,000.

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