Thursday, November 24, 2011

SBI scraps penalty on home loan pre-payment

New Delhi: Country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has decided to abolish pre-payment charges on home loans, giving some succour to borrowers who want to foreclose their accounts.
“We have decided to do away with the prepayment charges on all kinds of housing loans with immediate effect,” a senior official of the bank said. The bank has been charging pre-payment penalties only on housing loans with floating interest rates taken before May 2011, the official said. It has been charging about 2% of the outstanding amount as penalty if borrowers opted to foreclose their loans.
The decision from the largest lender will prompt other lenders to follow the suit. The total outstanding home loan of SBI rose to Rs 92,383 crore at the end of September against Rs 86,769 crore in March 2011.
At present, some banks are charging up to 2% as pre-payment penalty on the loan outstanding, if a borrower settles the full payment before maturity by switching over to another lender. No pre-payment fine is charged if borrowers pay using their own funds. It may be noted that the Reserve Bank has indicated that it would scrap prepayment penalties charged by banks. “It is proposed to implement the recommendations of the Damodaran Committee, on which a broad consensus has emerged, as also the action points which were identified by the IBA (Indian Banks’ Association) and BCSBI (Banking Codes and Standards Board of India) in the last Banking Ombudsmen conference,” RBI had said in its mid-year credit policy review. PTI

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