More banks cut savings account rates

More banks have joined the savings bank rate cut bandwagon. After SBI led the charge, many others, including Bank of Baroda, Karnataka Bank and Axis Bank, had followed suit. Last week, HDFC Bank, YES Bank and PNB cut rates too.

In most cases, small savers have borne the brunt, with banks cutting rates on lower-value deposits. For instance, Karnataka Bank had lowered savings rate on deposits up to ₹1 lakh to 3 per cent.

Now, HDFC Bank and PNB too have reduced their savings deposit rate to 3.5 per cent for deposits below ₹50 lakh, while retaining the 4 per cent rate on deposits of ₹50 lakh and more. Previously, SBI had cut its savings deposit rate by 50 basis points on deposits below ₹1 crore to 3.5 per cent while retaining the 4 per cent rate on deposits over ₹1 crore.

YES Bank that was offering 6-6.5 per cent on savings deposits has lowered the rates to 5-6.25 per cent based on value of deposits. For deposits up to ₹1 lakh, the rate has been cut from 6 per cent to 5 per cent.

For deposits between ₹1 lakh and ₹1 crore, the rate has been unchanged at 6 per cent, while for high-value deposits of over ₹1 crore, the rate has been reduced by 25 basis points to 6.25 per cent.

Other banks could also trim their savings deposit rates in the coming days, particularly for low-value deposits. Kotak Mahindra Bank, though, has decided to keep its savings bank deposit rate steady at 5-6 per cent.

ICICI Lombard’s new motor insurance feature

ICICI Lombard General Insurance has launched InstaSpect, a new feature in its mobile app ‘Insure’ to quicken the claim settlement process in motor insurance. InstaSpect is a live video inspection feature that will allow motor insurance customers raise an instant claim.

A customer has to stream a live video of the damaged vehicle to an ICICI Lombard claims manager. The manager will then assess the damage through the video and inform the customer about the extent of liability, documentation and further steps to be taken. The customer can accept the claims manager’s assessment of the damage enabling him to approve the claim and initiate the vehicle repair process.

Minor GST reprieve

Businesses have got a minor reprieve in the filing of the first set of returns under GST. Originally, the GST due for July had to be paid by August 20. Once the tax was paid, a tax return in summary form, GSTR 3B, had to be filed by August 20.

Many tax payers had however been raising a concern that the form for claiming transitional input tax credit was not available on the GSTN website. It has now been clarified that the form for claiming transitional credit, TRANS 1, will be available on the GSTN website from August 21, 2017. So those tax payers with pre-GST transitional tax credit can submit the forms TRANS 1 and GSTR 3B by August 28. But tax payers who do not have any pre-GST tax credit should have filed the summary tax return for July by August 25.

If the tax paid by those filing TRANS 1 is lower than the tax due, interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum will be charged from August 21 to the date of the payment.

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