Nation

SBI cuts savings bank deposit rate

July 31, 2017 09:35 PM

31 July, 2017 : SBI (State Bank of India) has cut interest rate on savings bank accounts to 3.5 per cent from 4 per cent on balance of Rs 1 crore and below, the country's largest public sector lender informed the stock exchanges on Monday in a regulatory filing. About 90 per cent of SBI's savings bank accounts have balances under Rs 1 crore. 
 
  • SBI has cut interest rate on savings bank accounts to 3.5 per cent from 4 per cent on balance of Rs 1 crore and below

  • The change marks the introduction of a new two-tier savings account interest rate system


"The decline in the rate of inflation and high real interest rates  are the primary considerations warranting a revision in the rate of interest on savings bank deposits," SBI said in a statement. 

The change in the structure is effective immediately and also marks the introduction of a new two-tier savings account interest rate system as balance of over Rs 1 crore will continue to attract the earlier 4 per cent rate. Analysts and markets see the bank's move as a positive and believe the 0.5 per cent cut in savings bank deposits will aid in boosting SBI's margins. SBI almost always leads the rate cut cycle with other banks following suit. Analysts expect the same to happen with Monday's interest rate cut. 

Post the announcement, the SBI stock shot up nearly 5 per cent to Rs 312.65, while the broader Nifty traded flat. 

SBI also informed the bourses that it had cut the MCLR(marginal cost of funds based lending rate) or its key lending rate, by 90 basis points effective January 1, 2017, on the strength of large inflows in savings and current accounts after demonetisation. "There has been significant outflow of CASA (current account and savings account) deposits. The revision in savings bank rate would enable the bank to maintain MCLR at the existing rates, benefitting a large segment of retail borrowers in SME, agriculture and affordable housing segments," SBI said. 
 
During demonetisation Rs 1.5 lakh crore had flown into savings accounts between November and December 2016, SBI said on a conference call post the announcement. The Narendra Modi government in a surprise move on November 8, 2016, had outlawed old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination in a bid to curb black money.
 
SBI's rate cut on Monday comes just two days ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) monetary policy meet on Wednesday where most analysts expect India's central bank to cut key interest rates. A significant moderation in retail inflation over the past few months has reinforced calls for further monetary policy easing from the RBI  which has stayed status quo on rates despite appeals from the Finance Ministry and the industry at large.

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