Major Chinese state-owned banks have lowered interest rates on U.S. dollar deposits. However, they reportedly dismissed claims that the moves were influenced by the Chinese government, stating that the rate cuts were market-driven.
Chinese State-Owned Banks Cut Dollar Deposit Rates — Dismiss Government Influence Claims
Major Chinese state-owned banks reportedly cut the maximum interest rates they offer on U.S. dollar deposits this week.
They explained that the moves were market-driven, dismissing recent reports by some news outlets that their decisions were influenced by the Chinese government. Reuters, for example, reported Tuesday that “In a rare attempt to bolster China’s yuan, a self-regulatory body overseen by the country’s central bank has told major state-owned banks to lower dollar deposit interest rates.” The publication cited four people with direct knowledge of the matter.
According to a Wednesday report by the Global Times, “some bank insiders” described the reductions in dollar deposit rates as a self-regulatory measure aimed at preserving stability in the dollar-yuan exchange rate. The yuan has weakened more than 6% against the USD since January
A manager at an Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) branch in downtown Beijing confirmed to the publication that dollar deposit rates have been significantly cut amid expectations of the U.S. Federal Reserve pausing interest rate hikes. For example, for deposits of $30,000, the rate was reduced from 4.8% on Sunday to 2.8% on Monday.
Some Chinese lenders also cut rates on yuan deposits, the news outlet noted. A manager at a Shanghai branch of Ping An Bank said that the bank is considering reducing the current three-year yuan deposit rate of 3.25% to below 3%, with the change expected to take effect next week. On Thursday, Reuters reported that China’s biggest banks have lowered interest rates on yuan deposits.