Thursday, September 13, 2012

ICICI, HDFC Bank follow SBI; revise FD rates by up to 0.5 pc

Mumbai, September 12: Private sector banks like ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank on Wednesday reduced interest rates on fixed deposits by atleast 50 basis point. The reduction in deposit rates comes at a time when the economy is slowing down and credit pick up is slack. One basis point is equal to one hundredth of a percentage. Last week, State Bank of India had reduced interest rate on deposits by as much as 100 basis points across maturities to maintain profitability after lowering lending rates.
 
ICICI Bank has cut rates across maturities ranging from 91 days to less than five years. It now offers a maximum 8.75 per cent interest on retail term deposits compared to 9.25 per cent earlier. In the shorter tenure ranging between seven days to 45 days, however, the bank has increased rate by 50-75 basis points. A reduction in statutory reserve ratio, the amount of funds to be held in government bonds, by a percentage point is also help the banks lend Rs 15,000 crore more to corporate or retail customers. Deposits grew 14.1% year on year against RBI's projection of 16%.
 
Pratip Chaudari, chairman State Bank of India had said, “As of now, we are surplus in deposit for SBI. The challenge is more on pushing credit.” Also, the cut in SLR is providing some comfort. This is helping banks in meeting the credit demand, which is climbing marginally. Recent RBI data shows that credit has grown 16.7% year on year.
 
‘We could see the private players now reduce lending rates to get competitive as many public sector banks like State Bank of India and Andhra Bank have cut rates on select retail products,’ said a banking analyst with a domestic brokerage. ICICI Bank is also doing this to maintain a healthy margin of over 3%, he added.

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