In a bizarre move HDFC Bank has decided to charge its preferred customers Rs.100 quarterly fee just for having the preferred status. The move seems bizarre since preferred customers must already put a lot of money in the bank to qualify in the preferred program. Moreover according to the website Preferred customers enjoy service fee waivers for common charges like money orders and extra statements etc. Its referred to as Program Management Fee from HDFC Bank.

To become a preferred customer you must satisfy the following criteria :

You are eligible for the HDFC Bank Preferred Programme ** if you:

  • Hold at least one Savings or Current account, sole or joint, with HDFC Bank.
  • Maintain a minimum Average Monthly balance of Rs. 15 Lakhs across all your accounts (Savings, Current and Fixed Deposits*)
    OR
  • Maintain an Average Quarterly Balance of Rs. 2 Lakhs in your Savings account.
    OR
  • Maintain an Average Quarterly Balance of Rs. 5 Lakhs in your Current account.

So despite having lakhs of rupees in your HDFC bank account, they still want to charge Rs.400 + tax to you every year in the name of program management fee.

Programme(sic) Management fee : A nominal Programme Management fee of Rs.100, per quarter is applicable per customer ID, on the Imperia (probably a typo) Banking Programme for Savings and Current Account holders, effective from Jan’16 . Services tax applicable. T&C Apply

So how does this move of charging your most loyal customers make sense ? Beats us. Some MBA probably decided that lets take our richest customers for a ride and extract even more money from them. Despite amazing profits the bank’s move to milk its best customers seems like a pretty counter intuitive move to me. I for one am going to close my NRO account the next time I visit India.

So do you have a HDFC Bank preferred account ? What do you feel about them charging you Rs.400 per year (+tax) extra ?