Below-maintaining-balance penalty is the most common banking concern that account owners write to us.
There have been account owners who have seen their savings reduced by 600 pesos or 900 pesos or 1,200 pesos for failing to see on time that their account balances have fallen below the required balance.
There’s even one OFW whose account balance was reduced by 4,500 pesos! That’s 300 pesos x 15 months of falling below the required balance. This OFW did not know that the bank account’s maintaining balance requirement has increased. Two other OFWs lost 1,800 pesos and 3,500 pesos to this kind of penalty.
What Are the Common Reasons Why Account Owners Suffer This Penalty?
- They don’t know there’s such a thing as maintaining balance.
- They know there’s a maintaining balance requirement but are not able to maintain the required balance.
- They don’t know the required maintaining balance had been increased.
- They don’t know how the minimum average daily balance is calculated.
- They think the penalty is imposed only for one month.
Why Is There a Maintaining Balance Requirement?
Merong cost ang pag-maintain ng records of accounts sa systems ng bangko, like cost of payroll, computers, software, electric bills, etc. I-imagine mo kung karamihan ng accounts ay walang laman o konti ang laman. Ime-maintain pa ba nila?
Why won’t the banks shoulder this cost? Banks will say they are in business to make profits.
In the US, what they have is a monthly maintenance fee. Account owners pay a monthly fee to maintain their accounts. Common knowledge na hindi libre ang bank account, except yong mga nagpapa-promo. If they don’t like to pay this monthly fee, then they maintain a certain balance in their account. It’s the same cost concept. Ang difference lang sa atin is parang lumaki tayo thinking na libre ang bank account. At saka more often than not, nakakalimutan ng mga new account officers na i-emphasize yong maintaining-balance requirement. Ina-assume nila na alam na ng new account owner.
Can You Ask for a Refund of the Penalty?
Yes, you can ask, but most often, the bank won’t refund. Hindi nila tatanggapin yong rason na hindi mo alam, o hindi mo alam na ganun ang pag-compute.
But I think there are cases when you must complain and ask for a refund.
One case is when you’re an OFW, and the bank suddenly increased its maintaining balance, and you were not informed, and you lost some thousand pesos.
There’s a banking regulation that you must be informed of any change that will impact you financially. Under “Fees on Retail Bank Products/Services” of Part 2 of the Manual of Regulations for Banks, there is this rule:
“Complementary individual notices to a client shall be sent if the amendments pertain to or will result to fees to be paid or charged on the account of the client.”
Submit your complaint to the bank and request for a refund. Keep copies of your communication with the bank. You need these documents in case you decide to submit a complaint to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
There are instructions here on how to ask help from the BSP. The BSP reiterates that you should talk first with your bank before going to them.
Ngayong marami nang nakakaalam na merong maintaining balance requirement, naging popular na ang mga:
No-Maintaining Balance Accounts
As people become familiar with maintaining-balance penalties, bank accounts like the following have become popular:
- Kabayan peso and dollar savings account
- Metrobank OFW peso and dollar savings account
- BPInoy savings account
- PNB OFW peso and dollar savings account
- Other banks’ OFW saving accounts
- Some kiddie accounts
- Some basic accounts
Here are Common Bank Account Products, Maintaining Balance Requirements and Below-Maintaining-Balance Penalty Amounts:
|Bank||Account Product||Maintaining Balance||Below-Maintaining-|
|Metrobank||OFW Peso Savings||0**|
|PNB||Superteller ATM Peso||3,000||300|
- * Penalty is charged on the last business day of the 2nd consecutive month your account fell below the required maintaining balance
- ** To maintain your BDO Kabayan account, you need to send money from abroad to your account at least once in 24 months.
- After 24 months of no foreign remittance to your BDO Kabayan account, your account is converted into a regular ATM account, and you’ll need to comply with the maintaining-balance requirement. Ang required maintaining balance ng BDO ATM account is 2,000 pesos. If you fail to maintain for 2 consecutive months, and your account balance is not enough to pay the 300-peso penalty, your account will automatically close.
- *** BPI Easy Saver has no maintaining balance requirement, but you pay 5 pesos for every ATM withdrawal and ATM balance inquiry. Itong BPI Easy Saver na naging BPI KAYA ay hindi na ino-offer effective April 20, 2020. Pero yong mga meron na nito prior to April 20, 2020 ay continuous pa rin nilang ma-enjoy ang mga advantages nito.
- ****BPInoy Savings Account has no maintaining balance requirement, but you need to send money to your account at least once every 3 months.