More than 10 Chinese joint-stock banks lowered deposit rates starting Monday, following similar moves made by the country's biggest state-owned banks on Friday, in a step that analysts say would effectively help banks ease financial burdens amid lowering loan interest rates.
The banks' moves to lower deposit rates have also been interested by some analysts and media outlets as paving the way for further monetary policy actions to boost the country's economic recovery in 2024.
Starting on Monday, a number of joint-stock banks, including China CITIC Bank, Ping An Bank, China Everbright Bank and China Minsheng Bank lowered their deposit rates, according to the Beijing Daily newspaper, which listed at least 10 banks.
While the banks made different adjustments based on their different situations, they generally lowered their one-year deposit rate by 10 basis points, their two-year deposit rate by 20 basis points and their three-year and five-year deposit rates by up to 25 basis points, according to the report. After the adjustments, the one-year deposit rates for some of banks, including China CITIC and Ping An, stood at 1.65 percent.
This followed a similar move to lower deposit rates by the joint-stock banks in September. It also came just days after the country's biggest state-owned banks, including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China, moved to lower deposit rates on Friday.
Ming Ming, chief economist at CITIC Securities, said that the main driving factor for the continued adjustment of deposit rates in this round is the significant decline in loan interest rates, which, coupled with smaller interest margins, increased operating pressure for banks. "Lowering deposit rates could help alleviate the pressure on bank's net interest margins," Ming said, according to the Beijing Daily.
According to Bloomberg, lowering deposit rates by Chinese banks have also fueled expectations that this would create "more wiggle room" for the Chinese central bank to lower lending rates early next year.
The tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference held earlier this month stressed that China will continue to implement proactive fiscal policies and prudent monetary policies. Specifically, prudent monetary policies should be flexible, moderate, precise, and effective, while efforts will be made to maintain a reasonable and sufficient liquidity level that matches the growth of social financing and the money supply with the expected targets for economic growth and price levels, the conference said.