Burden on customers as SBI gets fatter with 5 associate banks and BMB

State Bank of India has emerged a banking behemoth ranking 45th globally following the merger of its five associates and the Bhartiya Mahila Bank with itself, but customers will have to shell out more in terms of fresh charges on deposits holders, including minimum balance, as well as on ATM use and cash-handling.

Effective 1 April 2017, SBI customers will have to pay higher charges for ATM use, non-maintenance of minimum balance and cash-handling. The burden will vary for different categories.

It is learned that ATM charges beyond the mandatory limit will be double - rising from Rs5 to Rs10. But, it is still cheaper, considering that other banks' ATM charges are at Rs20 per transaction.

It is mandatory for SBI customers to maintain a monthly average balance of Rs5,000, if it falls below Rs5,000 in savings accounts in metros, a levy of Rs100 plus service charge will be applicable. In the case of debit cards, the charges will be Rs30 per quarter, where the average balance is less than Rs15, 000.

In a public announcement today, SBI said with the merger of five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank it will enter the league of 'Top 50 Global Banks' with a balance sheet size of Rs41,00,000 crore.

The merger of five associate banks – State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, and State Bank of Travancore, and Bharatiya Mahila Bank is effective from today.

In a posting on its website, SBI said with the merger, it now has 2.77 lakh employees, 500 million customers, and more than 25,000 branches and 58,000 ATMs. Further, SBI's market share will increase to nearly 22 per cent from 17 per cent.

''Having made significant investments in technology, SBI is in a position to offer the widest portfolio of digital products and services…..Thanks to the merger, three crore additional customers will have access to these products,'' the bank said highlighting the benefits of the merger to customers.

Further, it said the larger branch and ATM network will enable SBI to offer its products and services seamlessly to varied customer segments across India, besides being easily accessible.

With the merger, customers can access SBI across the globe at over 190 foreign offices in over 36 countries.