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Banking Institutions to Offer Basic Savings Account and Basic Current Account

Ref No : 01/05/48 (BN) 20 Jan 2005 Embargo : Not for publication or broadcast before 1700 hours on Thursday 20 January 2005

Effective 1 February 2005, all commercial banks and finance companies 1 will offer a basic savings account (BSA) and a basic current account (BCA), with no overdraft facility, to all individual Malaysians and permanent residents.

The accountholders of BSA and BCA will have access to the following minimum services related to these accounts:

  1. Cheque and cash deposits;
  2. Account enquiries;
  3. Withdrawals;
  4. Fund transfer within the same banking institution;
  5. Bill payment facility as offered by the banking institutions; and
  6. Interbank-GIRO 2.

In utilising the services provided, the accountholders are entitled to at least 16 transactions per month for each account comprising the following:

  1. Six free over the counter (OTC) visits for account enquiries, withdrawals, fund transfers within the same banking institution and bill payments. OTC visit is defined as one visit to the bank's counter irrespective of the number of transactions performed;
  2. Eight free ATM cash withdrawal transactions. There is no limit on ATM transactions that are not cash withdrawals (e.g. balance enquiry or fund transfer within the same banking institution); and
  3. Two interbank-GIRO transactions for which a maximum fee of RM0.50 per transaction may be charged.

All deposit transactions into the accountholder's BSA and BCA are free. However, in cases where self-serve deposit facility is provided and the accountholder chooses to make a deposit over-the-counter, this transaction will be considered as part of the OTC limit.

BSA and BCA accountholders of banking institutions which have internet banking services are entitled to unlimited online account enquiries, fund transfers within the same banking institution and payment of bills at no charge.

The minimum services offered via BSA and BCA reflect commonly used banking services. The number of free transactions or transactions with minimal charge are sufficient to meet the needs of average banking consumers.

Details of BSA and BCA are provided in the Appendix.

The public is advised to contact their banking institutions to determine whether their existing accounts qualify as BSA and BCA and the procedures for opening new BSA and BCA accounts.

Bank Negara Malaysia is currently reviewing the existing fees and charges imposed by banking institutions, including on those transactions beyond the thresholds specified in the BSA and BCA. Bank Negara Malaysia will ensure that these charges as well as any new charges are appropriate, reasonable and adequately reflect cost and cost savings. Pending the outcome of the review banking institutions may continue to impose existing charges.

In addition, banking institutions are required to disclose fees and charges imposed on products and services offered to individuals and SMEs at all their branches and websites effective 1 February 2005.

Bank Negara Malaysia
20 January 2005

1 Finance companies are only required to offer Basic Savings Account

2 MEPS Interbank-GIRO is an electronic fund transfer payment system for interbank payments up to a maximum of RM100,000 per transaction

Appendix: Features of the BSA and BCA

No.   Parameters
1 Eligibility
  • Must be Malaysian citizens or permanent residents. For BCA, the requirement for an applicant to be at least eighteen years old remains unchanged.
  • Entitled to 1 BSA and 1 BCA per individual per banking institution.
2 Features

Basic Savings Account (BSA)

  • Initial deposit requirement to open a BSA is not more than RM20
  • Should earn interest irrespective of account balance
  • No service or maintenance charge
  • Minimum balance requirement of not more than RM20
  • Free mini statement

Basic Current Account (BCA)

  • Initial deposit requirement to open a BCA is not more than RM500
  • No charges on the issuance of cheque book except for stamp duty incurred
  • Service charge of RM10 half yearly for balances less than RM1,000 as per existing ABM rules.
  • Free monthly statement
3 Minimum Number of Monthly Transactions

Accountholders are entitled to at least 16 transactions per month per account comprising:

  1. Six free OTC (over the counter) visits for account enquiries, withdrawals, fund transfers within the same banking institution and bill payments. OTC visit is defined as one visit to the bank's counter irrespective of the number of transactions performed;
  2. Eight free ATM cash withdrawal transactions. There is no limit on ATM transactions that are not cash withdrawals (e.g. balance enquiry or fund transfer within the same banking institution); and
  3. Two interbank-GIRO transactions for which a maximum fee of RM0.50 per transaction may be charged.

Notes: For banking institutions without either ATM and/or GIRO facilities, accountholders will be able to perform these transactions OTC.

4 Internet Banking Facility BSA and BCA accountholders of banking institutions which have internet banking services are entitled to unlimited online account enquiries, fund transfers within the same banking institution and payment of bills at no charge.
5 Fees and Charges
  1. Replacement of ATM/bankcard (not more than RM12)
  2. Closure of BSA and BCA within 3 months of account opening (not more than RM20)
  3.  

Bank Negara Malaysia
20 Jan 2005

© Bank Negara Malaysia, 2005. All rights reserved.