HDFC Steals Money From My Account (AMB CHRG INCL ST & CESS )

Update: Today (24/02/15) one HDFC representative contacted me after reading this complaint and explained me the circumstances under which they levied AMB penalty. She explained me, HDFC had send me a post about the change of account status from salary A/C to normal savings A/C but the postal address listed in the bank details pointed to my old office. Unfortunately they changed the office in the mean time and couldn't deliver the post. She also informed me HDFC doesn't intimate customers about account change via SMS but only through post. Now I feel they have addressed my complaint properly.


For those who are managing multiple bank accounts may don't recognize the white collar theft by banks in the form of hidden charges and penalties. I have been facing such a situation for the past few months but yesterday I found it. I have one HDFC account which was started as a salary account and then transformed in to ordinary savings account later. At the time of opening the account, they said, it's a salary account and the minimum balance can be 0 rupees. However, after leaving the job, HDFC converted my salary account to a regular savings account automatically. The problem is, they didn't inform me the minimum balance I should keep on the account. According to Reserve Bank guidelines, every banks are required to inform the customer about the minimum charge he should maintain prior in his A/C to levy penalties. Link to the Reserve Bank guidelines for levy of penal charges on non-maintenance of minimum balances in savings bank accounts is provided at the end of this article under resources. Now let me explain my situation.

Yesterday I logged on to my HDFC bank account to purchase an item from Snapdeal and got confused with the final amount  after finishing the purchase procedure. So I decided to have a look at the mini statement to check last 20 transactions. Everything looked fine until I found small withdrawals in the code name of AMB CHRG INCL ST & CESS. They reduced the same amount in last month also. HDFC is charging 393.26 rupees per month under the same code name.  I was confused about the meaning of the term - AMB CHRG INCL ST & CESS FOR JAN2015- and found that it is the short form of -Average Monthly Balance and they wanted me to keep 10,000 rupees in average a day in a month. So in a month, the net amount I should keep must be 3,00,000 or more. The irony here is that, they could have informed me about not having minimum required balance. Instead of that, they deducted 393.26 rupees in every month. Screenshot of the balance sheet is added below.



According to RBI guidelines, there is no guidelines for making a minimum balance but it is mandatory to inform their customers about the same. You can read the story by visiting the RBI page below.

http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Id=1022&Mode=0

Though there are strict guidelines, HDFC is taking my money without informing the reason and that is totally unacceptable. They should have at least send me SMS regarding non-maintenance of minimum balance. However, HDFC publishes the minimum required balance for every type of accounts on their website. you can view it by visiting the link below.

http://www.hdfcbank.com/nri_banking/accounts/savings_accounts/nre_savings_account/nre_savings_account_fees.htm


Resources

  1. RBI urges banks to inform their customers about the non maintenance of minimum balance prior to levy penalty.

    http://rbi.org.in/scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Id=9343&Mode=0

  2. Some interesting threads which discuss the same issue.

    • http://www.consumercourt.info/topic/hdfc-deducted-more-than-4000-rs-from-my-saving-account

    • http://www.consumercomplaints.in/hdfc-bank-amb-chrg-incl-st-amp-cess-for-apr2014-c894201

    • https://forums.digitalpoint.com/threads/why-is-hdfc-bank-deducting-amb-charges.2650630/

    • http://www.complaintboard.in/complaints-reviews/hdfc-bank-l4627.html

    • Adding Beneficiary to Start Money Transfer Process