It’s nickel-and-dime time again, folks. HDFC Bank will now charge for anything if you snoop around their branches, so don’t step in to say hi to that friendly branch manager any more.

New charges have been introduced on inactive accounts (no “customer initiated transaction in one year”).

  • And IPIN or TPIN changes at the branch will cost you Rs. 50,
  • you get charged higher for non maintenance of average “monthly” balance (note: moved from average “quarterly” balance)
  • No more fixed deposit in lieu of a balance – that facility is gone. So if you have a deposit, withdraw it immediately
  • Huge ECS (Debit) return charges of Rs. 350 to Rs. 750
  • If you deposit a cheque and it come back unpaid, take a hit of Rs. 100.
  • Limits on cash transactions to 5 per month – I wonder if this includes ATM usage
  • Duplicate statements, Address confirmation, PIN regeneration  cost Rs. 50 to Rs. 100 each.
  • Want to close your account? You’ll get docked Rs. 500 (Wow!).

Rs. 500 to close an account? This is usury and I hope they get taken to the RBI ombudsman for it. But yes, this does mean I’m thankful for opening an account with Yes Bank and that I will get to opening an account with SBI as well. Then I’ll move the money over to whoever charges me the least, while maintaining multiple accounts.

This could be a precursor to higher SB account charges, but we’ll only know on Jan 1, I imagine.

I wonder if this is the end of the great HDFC Bank Bull Run (in the stock market). The stock has outperformed everything but the competition from the likes of Axis, Kotak, Indusind and even SBI will make it difficult to survive through heavy fees. The 45% CASA ratio is sure to change; a new kind of regime will need to set in, soon.

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