The Bangladesh Bank on Thursday slashed the bank account maintenance fees for both savings and current accounts to increase deposit in banks and bring small depositors within the reach of banking services.
The central bank also increased the limit on maintenance charge-free balance in savings accounts. Banking Regulations and Policy Department of the BB issued a circular in this regard.
According to the circular, banks will not charge any maintenance fee on average balance up to Tk 10,000 in savings accounts on half-yearly basis. The previous limit was Tk 5,000.
Previously, banks were allowed to impose highest Tk 100 as half-yearly charge as account maintenance fee on savings accounts with average balance up to Tk 25,000.
According to the new schedule, banks will charge highest Tk 100 half-yearly for average balance above Tk 10,000 but up to Tk 25,000. The charge will be Tk 200 for balance starting from Tk 25,000 up to Tk 2 lakh while the fee will be at Tk 250 for average balance up to Tk 10 lakh starting from Tk 2 lakh. The banks will be able to charge highest fee of Tk 300 for balance above Tk 10 lakh.
The maintenance fee for current account has been reduced to Tk 300 from previous Tk 500, according to the circular.
All the charges will be applicable on half-yearly basis. It also mentioned that the other instructions issued on December 22, 2009 would remain unchanged.
The central bank first introduced the account maintenance fees in 2009 when the charges were set at Tk 500 for current account and half-yearly charges were set at Tk 300 for savings account.
The move was taken to encourage people to transact through the banking channel. At present, the scheduled banks annually earn around Tk 1,700 crore from the customers as account maintenance fees.
As a result of the maintenance fee cut, banks’ earnings from the segment would decline by around Tk 600 crore, the central bank estimated.