Two people in my family received a registered post from Citibank when we weren’t around; and knowing Citibank I was sure something bad was going on, so we went to the post office pronto and fetched two letters. Both of them told us that:
a) From March 1, their Citibank Suvidha Accounts would no longer be valid and would be converted into “Citibanking” accounts.
b) Such citibanking accounts needed a minimum balance of Rs. 100,000. Of course they call it “Net Relationship Value” which means a sum of FDs and mutual funds and all that.
Since Citibank business is in general not beneficial (their FD rates are low, and since everything requires to either courier documents to their office or visit their extremely far-away office in Bangalore, the rational choice is to close the accounts. Luckily we can do that before March 1, 2013.
Citi told us that after first withdrawing the cash balance first, we could send in a letter with all unused cheque leaves duly cancelled. If you don’t want to maintain a Rs. 100,000 minimum balance with your bank, you might want to consider doing this too.
If we didn’t, they would charge us a Rs. 500 per month fee for a lower balance.
We didn’t have anything else linked to this account, but if you do, you will need to unlink those- loans, mutual funds, insurance etc.
Note that there’s nothing wrong with this – Citi has decided it doesn’t want low-balance accounts, and I’m free to take my business elsewhere. Other banks seem to be quite happy to have us. Also, Citi hasn’t hurt their “salary accounts” – only the regular suvidha accounts.
Just a heads up. It seems HSBC has upped their account balances to 300,000 minimum. Oh, it’s time for bank account churn.