Top pvt banks cut int rates on deposits amid easing liquidity conditions

Mumbai: Top private sector lenders have cut their interest rates on deposits by up to 0.25 per cent over the last week, officials said.

Generally, an interest rate cut in deposits is seen as a precursor to a lending rate cut. The move by lenders including ICICI Bank and Axis Bank come amid easing liquidity conditions and also within days of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank earlier this month.

The RBI is betting on rate cuts, and a subsequent pass-on of the same by the banks to borrowers, as one of the ways to prop-up the sagging economic growth.

ICICI Bank is understood to have cut its fixed deposit rates by 0.10-0.25 per cent starting from Monday, officials said.

Under the revised rates for domestic deposits under Rs 2 crore, ICICI Bank will be paying 6.75 per cent for a deposit of 290 days to under a year, and 7.30 per cent for a deposit of over two years to under three years, according to the rates on the bank’s website.

Its smaller rival Axis Bank has cut its deposit rates by up to 0.15 per cent in select buckets, a bank spokesperson said. All the downward reviews have been for deposits of over one year, the spokesperson added.

On the quantum of the cuts, a majority of them have been 0.15 per cent, while in the case of deposits of over Rs 2 crore for a period between three to five years, the cut is 0.10 per cent.

Largest private sector lender HDFC Bank also seems to have done a review of its deposit rates and the revised rates are applicable from last Wednesday.

The extent of the review and the maturities in which any review has been done was not immediately available. The bank will be paying an interest of 7.30 per cent for deposits of under Rs 2 crore for a year, according to its website.

After announcing a rate cut at its last policy move – the third such simultaneous action by the RBI in as many reviews, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had appreciated banks’ response on passing on the RBI’s rate calls, called as “transmission”. He had, however, said that more needs to be done by the banks.

NT Bureau