Not Informed About My 15,000 Pesos Maintaining Balance Penalty: Should I Report to BSP?

Not yet. You must first visit your bank, and ask what happened to your payments and account, so you and your bank can resolve your concern. There might just have been some misunderstanding or errors that can be easily corrected. This will save you time, effort and stress.

It's only when your bank does not help you with your concern that you ask assistance from the BSP

Ito yong tanong ng sumulat sa akin sa blog ko na

Hi po, ask ko lang paano yung aking auto debit account. 5 years na po ako naghuhulog doon sa home loan ko until malaman ko last month na monthly pala ako kinakaltasan ng 300 dahil below maintaining balance daw ako. Hanggang sa nabawasan ng nabawasan yong hinuhulog ko monthly at nagkulang na sya at umabot 15K+. Pero wala naman ako palya sa paghulog. Di ko namonitor account ko pero di din naman ako ininform ng bank. Tama ba ginawa nila?

Aware po ako sa charges pag nag below maintaining balance ako. Pero pano nga po ako magbebelow maintaining balance e puro papasok lang po pera sa account ko, di po ako nagwiwidraw. At upon opening, may initial deposit yun at maintaining balance. Sa loob ng 5 years di ako ininform ng bank. Ngayon lang na umabot na ng 15K ang kulang sa hulog ko, meaning every month ang kaltas nila ng 300 and meaning every month nagiging kulang hulog ko. Pwede po ba ako magreklamo sa BSP?

Ang unang reaksiyon ko pagkabasa ko ng problem is bakit kaya hindi na-monitor ni Mister Account Owner ang kanyang account ng within 5 years?  Tinanong ko siya, at sabi niya ATM ang kanyang account, at never daw siyang nagwidro at never daw siyang pumalya sa pagbayad sa kanyang home loan. Wala rin daw siyang online o mobile banking. 

Nanghingi raw siya ng statement of account, pero hindi raw mabigay-bigay sa kanya. 

I advised him to register for online banking, so he can check his payments and penalties.

Meanwhile, I checked out the BSP Manual of Regulations for Banks (MORB) for regulations requiring banks to inform account owners. 

Is your bank required to notify you if you have been charged with Below-Balance Maintaining Balance Penalty?

No, based on the BSP Manual of Regulations for Banks (MORB). The bank is required to notify you individually ONLY if the following 2 situations arise: 
  • 1. if there's a change in the required Minimum Monthly Average Daily Balance (MADB) and 
  • 2. if the change will result in the deduction of fees or penalties in your account 
This means that if you are charged with below-maintaining-balance penalty, at the rate or amount when you opened your account, your bank is not required by the BSP to notify you. This is because you have been informed about the Below-Maintaining Balance Penalty when you opened your account via the Terms and Conditions document that you signed. 

It does not matter if the bank officer who assisted you failed to warn you or explain to you the maintaining balance requirement.

What Information Are Banks Required to Provide to Account Owners Upon Account Opening?

 All important information regarding your account is provided in the Terms and Conditions document signed by You as Customer upon account opening.

Some new-account officers explain to you or warn you about the conditions most often violated, but some others do not have time or they forget. But if you will sign the Terms and Conditions document, it means you will agree to all that's in the document.
There are a lot of subjects covered in the Terms and Conditions, but the most important things to  know and remember are the following:
  • Penalty is imposed if you close your account within 30 days from account opening date. Your bank may hold your initial deposit for this purpose.
  • Service charge is imposed on your account if it falls below the Monthly Average Daily Balance for 2 consecutive months.
  • Your savings account becomes dormant after 2 years of no deposit or withdrawal. One year for current account.
  • You shall update the bank if you've changed your postal address, email address, phone number, surname, and other information related to your account.
  • Your bank may close your account without prior notice, if you commit a fraud involving your account.
  • Your bank may close your account if your account balance becomes zero.

What Happened to the 15,000-Peso Maintaining Balance Problem of Mister Account Owner? 

It's good that Mister Account Owner agreed with my advice and he registered for his online banking.  So he was able to check his savings and home loan accounts. He saw that on his 4th year of paying monthly his home loan amortization, there was one amortization he failed to pay. 

This meant that the amount of 15k pesos was not all below-maintaining balance penalties. They were penalties and one month of  home loan amortization.

He accepted what happened and he paid the one-month amortization and the penalties. He told me he's  now going to monitor his account regularly through online banking.

"Fees on Retail Bank Products/Services." Manual of Regulations for Banks Part Two. No. 263. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Metrobank Deposit Terms and Conditions. 

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