Calculating Monthly Average Balance (MAB)

Here’s all about calculating Monthly Average Balance (MAB):

Come 1 April 2017, and the State Bank of India (SBI) will be penalising the Monthly Average Balance (MAB) defaulters.

You might be wondering what kind of defaulters are being referred here?

Account holders whose saving account balances fall short of the “Monthly Average Balance” would bear the brunt. Rs 5000 and Rs 1000 is the “Monthly Average Balance” for urban and rural areas respectively. Way back in 2012, SBI had scrapped this requirement of Monthly Average Balance maintenance. At that time it aimed at increasing its customer base. Now on a crusade to bring down the operating costs, it has revived the requirement.

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The motivation behind the maintenance of Monthly Average Balance (MAB) would be to avoid the penalties. A Higher penalty has been levied in urban areas as compared to the countryside. It also varies as per the quantum of difference between the average and the actual account balance.

It seems like even your bank must be after you to fulfil such a requirement. Why wouldn’t it be? Management of all the accounts entails costs to run the operations and systems. By using penalties, the bank can recover its cost of conducting day-to-day business.

But all this while you have been thinking how to get a hold of the balances?

Does your bank want you to maintain this average at all times or only at the end of each day?

Let’s start with the basics first. You need to understand the concept of “Monthly Average Balance” (MAB). Then, life is going to be much easier. Moreover, you could be escaping the penalties as well.

“Monthly Average Balance” refers to the sum of all the End of Day (EOD) balances and dividing it by the number of days in the month. It means average account balance that you need to maintain over the specified period.

MAB = Sum of EOD balances/Number of days in the month

Suppose the “Monthly Average Balance” requirement of your bank is Rs 5000. It implies that the bank wants the average in your account to be Rs 5000. It does not necessarily require that you should have Rs 5000 balance at the end of every day. It’s your discretion as to how to go about it. You can maintain a balance of Rs 5,000 every day or Rs 1,50,000 (Rs 5000*30) on any one day of the month. Ultimately, the average needs to come around Rs 5000.

By now you must have understood that it’s quite simple to follow the norm.

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How is “Monthly Average Balance” calculated?

The calculation of “Monthly Average Balance” involves very easy steps.

Before beginning the math, let’s consider a hypothetical account statement of Mr S. Table 1 shows the account statement which belongs to the month of March 2017.

Now, with the help of the account statement given above, we will calculate the “Monthly Average Balance” of Mr S. You may find the step-by-step calculation in Table 2 provided below.

1. Firstly, you need to ascertain the account balance at the end of each day. Add deposit and subtract withdrawals, if any, from the balance (as shown in Table 1).

2. Then it’s time to assign weights to the closing balances of each day. The weights refer to the duration for which the appropriate balance resided in your account.

3. Multiply the closing balance with the number of days for which it was maintained the account. It gives you the weighted account balances which would be subject to calculation of average.

4. Find out the sum of weighted account balances.

5. Ascertain the number of days in the particular month. While doing this, you need to include all the holidays and working days.

6. Calculate the “Monthly Average Balance” by dividing the sum of weighted account balances by the number of days in the particular month.

Also read: Liquid funds vs Savings Bank A/c: Which is better?

Monthly Average Balance vs. Quarterly Average Balance – A difference

A lot has already been discussed about Monthly Average Balance (MAB).

Now let’s look at Quarterly Average Balance (QAB) as some of the banks follow this norm.

Quarterly Average Balance (QAB) refers to the sum of all of the closing balances of a quarter divided by the number of days in a quarter.

QAB = Sum of EOD balances/Number of days in the quarter

You need to know that there are 4 quarters in a financial year. Each quarter is made up of 3 months. Supposing that a month has 30 days, a quarter would consist of 90 days (30 days*3 months). The quarters are usually like April-June, July-September, October-December and January-March.

If QAB in your bank is Rs 5000, then you have some ways to maintain it. You can ensure Rs 5000 for the whole quarter or Rs 450,000 (Rs 5000*90 days) as the last day’s closing balance.

When you compare MAB with QAB, you will find that MAB is better. It’s because you need to maintain a lesser account balance than in QAB.

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Tips to ensure maintenance of Monthly Average Balance (MAB)

You can follow some of the tips to ensure that you follow the MAB norm. It would be highly beneficial so as to protect yourself from penalties.

1. Avoid multiple accounts

Maintenance of MAB often results in blocking of cash flows in the bank accounts. You may face troubles in case of multiple accounts spread across a range of banks. Each bank would have a different MAB rule. So, regularly tracking and maintaining the MAB may get quite cumbersome.

2. Open account with Public Sector Bank

The Monthly Average Balance (MAB) requirements of Public Sector banks are quite little like Rs 5000. On the contrary, MAB needs of private sector banks may be as high as Rs 10000. If it’s about privileged saving accounts, then it can go even more exorbitant. Additionally, private sector banks may levy higher penalties than Public Sector banks. So, it’s better to go public to open a saving bank account.

3. MAB of Rs 5000 every day or Rs 150000 on any single day

Maintaining MAB can be very convenient if you are tactful. So, if you maintain Rs 5000 throughout the month or Rs 150000 on any closing day, it means the same. In the latter case, you can go for a NIL balance on all days and ensure the closing balance of Rs 150000 on any one day.

4. Claim a tax deduction of up to Rs 10000 under Sec 80TTA

Did you know your regular saving bank account can help you claim a tax deduction!

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Under Sec 80TTA of Income Tax Act, interest earned on saving bank account up to Rs 10000 can be claimed as a tax deduction. This deduction is available over and above the Rs 1.5lakh deduction available under Sec 80C.

Interest earned in excess to Rs 10000 will be taxed under the head “Income from other sources” as per you slab rates.

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