HDFC Bank Introduces New Charges From Jan 1, 2012


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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  1. Well being a HDFC customer for last 7 years, I’m now hating their frequent policy changes and on top of all they keep on forgetting what’s my AQB? sometime they say your account has AQB of Rs.10,000 on the other hand a message pops in my mobile, your balance has gone below your average AQB that is Rs.5,000, and i am like,”?.”

  2. Hi Deepak,
    Thanks for informing us about this shit being dished by HDFC.
    Can you explain the statement: “Huge ECS (Debit) return charges of Rs. 350 to Rs. 750”?
    When does this happen?
    Also, what will happen if I withdraw all my money and don’t turn up for 3 months? Will they send me a bill for Rs. 500/-? :-)

  3. So this is the coming age of charge by obfuscation. Most customers will not even realize the change till they face the first charge and then they will see red. I hope the RBI clears the air a bit on this, they should really highlight what is a chargeable service and what isn’t as well as how much notice & choice should be offered before changing charges? I am sure ICICI will follow suit within 6 weeks if this goes without much issue.

    This is good news for the likes of Yes & Kotak(because of higher SB rates) & all nationalised banks because of more benign practices.

    The more important point to note is that the way the banks behave they are poster childs for what can go wrong if you liberalize & cut shackles before there is enough penetration. So far RBI has behaved responsibly but wherever the regulator is lax, woe begone is the consumer and more so since our courts do not have stellar closure rates for civil suits.

    Anyone remember how Citi tried to sneak in an insurance charge on card customers and after mass revolt(& may be some RBI whipping, I don’t remember) backed out.

  4. I am completely frustrated with their service, rigid attitude – I am so in love with Citibank…but I have held my HDFC account for a decade now and its so interlinked to many things….closing is such a nightmare…

    but its not just HDFC which charges for account closing, a lot of PSU banks have been charging this for ages…

  5. Well I am surprised that so many folks don’t like HDFC Bank. I had always had good experience and I feel the bank is more conservative in their approach [more secure, organic growth, more transparent]. The bank has never resorted to attract customers by lowering their rates. Yes this is increase seems unfair and should be intimated to customers, so I am disappointed. But I still think the bank is much better than others…

  6. Try opening a account with a PSU Bank. It will be fun. For every damn thing you need to write a letter. I misplaced my password for my canara bank account. I have been to the branch four times, wrote three letters to the branch manager, still have not got the new password. Its almost 1.5 months now and have missed paying other payments because of this.
    I would rather pay 100 bucks to the bank to send password immediately.

    Wait for couple of quarterly results. If HDFC bank shows an increase in fee based income, other private banks will be under pressure will follow suite.

  7. Even I am frustrated with their dictatorship kind of rules and regulations.

    Please stay away from this bank guys for a while till the time they amend their rules in favour of people of this democracy loving country.

    Time to move back to nationalized banks.

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