(Yicai) Feb. 8 -- A number of Chinese lenders, including Shengjing Bank and Xiamen International Bank, have lowered their deposit interest rates for the first time this year.
Shengjing Bank today will cut its interest rate on three-year and five-year deposits, which is now 3.2 percent, an account manager at the Chinese commercial bank told Yicai.
Residents’ demand to save money has increased, while their consumption willingness has decreased amid a lack of confidence in their expected income and market conditions. Therefore, banks are cutting deposit interest rates to alleviate the pressure on their narrowing interest margins and help boost consumption to some extent.
Xiamen International Bank today launched a three-year fixed deposit product with an interest rate of 3.05 percent, a manager at the Xiamen-based lender told Yicai, adding that the interest rate will likely be lowered after the Chinese New Year holiday.
“The quota in Beijing for the new deposit product is about CNY20 million (USD2.8 million), so it will likely be gone in only a few minutes after launch,” the Xiamen International Bank manager predicted.
China’s six big state-owned banks -- Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Postal Savings Bank of China -- lowered their deposit interest rates on Dec. 22 in an effort to bolster their bottom lines.
Based on past cases, large, medium, and small lenders will lower their deposit interest rates in an orderly manner to ensure a stable deposit market, Zhou Maohua, analyst at the financial market department of Everbright Bank, told Yicai.
Despite last year’s several deposit interest rate cuts, the enthusiasm of residents to save money has not faded. Chinese residents’ deposits totaled CNY137.9 trillion (USD19.4 trillion) at the end of last year, up by CNY16.7 trillion (USD2.4 trillion) from a year earlier, according to data from the People’s Bank of China.
China’s personal deposits’ monthly growth averaged 16.7 percent last year, the highest in over a decade, far exceeding the nominal gross domestic product and personal disposable income growth rates in the period, according to a report by Nankai University.
Editor: Futura Costaglione