Deposit interest rates surge to meet rising capital ahead of Tết

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A bank teller introduces interest rates to a customer in Hà Nội. Photo

HÀ NỘI — Bank depositors are happy while firms are worried, as savings interest rates are increasing significantly in the last months of the year.

Many banks have recently increased their deposit interest rates by 0.1-0.8 percentage points per year to mobilise amid rising capital demands ahead of Tết (Lunar New Year), the country’s largest holiday.

Statistics from the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) showed deposit interest rates at small- and medium-sized commercial banks have increased sharply since early this month. Currently, the highest deposit interest rates in the market range from 7.15 to 8 per cent per year.

GPBank, for example, has raised its deposit interest rates twice in December, pushing its rate up 0.8 percentage points per year compared to the end of November. The 13-month term deposit interest rate at the bank is currently at 6.8 per cent per year against 6 per cent at the end of last month. The rates for six- and nine-month deposits at the bank have also increased strongly to 6.5 per cent and 6.6 per cent per year, respectively.

Besides increasing deposit interest rates at bank counters, some banks have also offered additional interest rates for people who deposit savings online. For example, at ABBank, depositors receive an additional 0.4 per cent interest rate when depositing online.

Similarly, at VPBank, online savings interest rates have increased sharply by 0.2-0.8 percentage points per year for some accounts. For example, for a one-month term when customers deposit online with VNĐ50 million or more, they will enjoy an interest rate of up to 4 per cent per year, 0.8 percentage points higher than that at the end of last month.

SSI Securities Company attributed the deposit interest rate hike to the reason that banks have begun to enter the peak payment period at year-end, causing the liquidity of the banking system to be temporarily restricted.

Moreover, higher inflation pressure in 2022 and competition from other investment channels such as real estate and securities markets have also forced banks to increase savings interest rates to attract depositors.

In addition, SBV stopped injecting money through open market operation (OMO) and foreign currency purchase channels from the beginning of December. This move caused interest rates on the interbank market to increase by 0.05- 0.06 percentage points compared to the end of November.

According to the forecast of VNDirect Securities Company, deposit interest rates will increase by 0.3-0.5 percentage points per year in 2022.

Many firms are worried that the deposit interest rate hike will push up the lending rates as a domino effect, especially with firms suffering difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A director of a food processing enterprise in Hà Nội, who declined to be named, said his company was borrowing a loan at an interest rate of 9 per cent per year from a small-sized commercial joint stock bank.

As the deposit rates increase, the lending rate would obviously be adjusted up next time, he said.

However, experts say firms do not need to worry as the increase in savings interest rates is not a trend, but only a temporary end-of-the-year as capital demands surge.

The SBV has affirmed to manage monetary policies to maintain the current lending rate. — VNS

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