In order to provide financial incentives to small depositors and encourage bank deposits, the Bangladesh Bank has reduced the bank maintenance fee to half for the current year.
Depositors who will have a deposit of Tk10 lakh or less on average in their savings accounts in 2021 will get this facility. This facility will not be applicable for current accounts.
The central bank's Banking Regulation and Policy Department (BRPD) on Sunday issued instructions to this end.
According to the notification, the central bank has taken the initiative to attract potential depositors to the banking system and provide incentives to small depositors in the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
At present, banks deduct the account maintenance fee in every six months. But for the current year, they will deduct the fee once. In other words, the cost of maintain bank accounts for the depositors has become half.
Asked about this, some bankers wishing not to be named told The Business Standard that they welcomed the central bank's initiative. The purpose of the initiative to reduce small depositors' expenditure considering the Covid situation is noble, they added.
They, however, said those who have an average deposit of Tk25,000 to Tk10 lakh a year in their bank accounts have to pay Tk200-600 as fee. "The fee is not too high for those who have a deposit of Tk1 lakh or more."
The bankers further added that banks have had to keep their provisions low as they have not increased their defaulted loans due to the pandemic situation this year, which resulted in better operating profit. The central bank might have thought of reducing the account maintenance fee considering this matter, they said.
At present, no maintenance fee is charged on accounts with a deposit of Tk10,000 or less. Fees are deducted at different rates from Tk10,000 to Tk10 lakh or more. In case of current accounts, the annual maintenance fee is Tk600.