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PBOC tightens regulations on banks' interest rates on structured deposits

2020-3-18 14:16

A teller counts cash at a bank branch in Taiyuan, Shanxi province.[Photo by Zhang Yun/China News Service]

 

The People's Bank of China, the central bank, has further tightened regulations governing relatively higher interest rates on structured deposit products of commercial banks earlier this month, in order to lower the cost of banks' liabilities and eventually also lower the borrowing costs of small businesses.

 

Sun Guofeng, head of the monetary policy department of the PBOC, told a news conference on Sunday that the central bank will continue to push for a notable decline in various lending rates through multiple measures, including reduction of commercial banks' irregular innovative deposit products.

 

The larger idea is to support the resumption of production and sustain economic development amid China's battle against the novel coronavirus outbreak, Sun said.

 

A structured deposit is essentially a combination of a deposit and an investment product. Typical financial instruments linked to such deposits include market indexes, equities, fixed-income instruments, commodities, foreign exchange or a combination of these.

 

The return on a structured deposit consists of the guaranteed interest, which is earned at the minimum rate of return that a bank promises to offer, and the return on the investment product, which depends on the performance of the underlying assets.

 

The PBOC said the minimum rates of return on structured deposits provided by some banks should be regulated, for they are noticeably higher than the conventional deposit rates.

 

The minimum rates of return on banks' structured deposits will henceforth be included in the PBOC's macro-prudential assessment system and the market interest rate pricing self-discipline mechanism.

 

The average return on 1,049 yuan-denominated structured deposits that matured in January was 3.71 percent, according to data from the Rong360 Jianpu Technology Big Data Research Institute. China's benchmark one-year deposit rate is 1.5 percent and benchmark three-year deposit rate is 2.75 percent.

 

The PBOC move appears to have struck a chord with market mavens. "Regulating the minimum rates of return on structured deposits will effectively help banks break out of the prisoner's dilemma on attracting deposits by offering higher savings rates. When principal-protected deposit products with relatively high interest rates are no longer available, depositors will have no other option but to choose products that carry higher risk but offer lower returns," said analysts led by Ma Kunpeng with SWS Research Co Ltd in a report.

 

"It is expected that the forceful measures taken by the PBOC will significantly reduce the cost of liabilities for banks, drive loan pricing lower and underpin the real economy."

 

Structured deposits have grown rapidly in China since 2018 due to increased competition for deposits and new regulations that ban the issuance of principal-protected wealth management products.

 

At the same time, problems including irregular product management and misleading product sales have emerged, said an official of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission in October.

 

On Oct 18, the CBIRC had also tightened regulations on banks' structured deposits to control risks and protect investors' interests.

 

The measure lowered the outstanding amount of banks' structured deposits to about 9.6 trillion yuan ($1.37 trillion) at the end of December.

 

But, at the end of January, the figure rose by more than 12 percent to 10.79 trillion yuan, according to PBOC data.

 

This month, the PBOC again emphasized that banks should continue to rectify irregular deposit products, and forbade banks from paying higher interest for premature withdrawal of newly issued time deposits, including large-denomination certificates of deposit, relative to rates on demand deposits.

 

山西省太原市一家银行的出纳员在清点现金。[中新社张云摄]


本月早些时候,中国央行(pboc)进一步收紧了对商业银行结构性存款产品利率相对较高的监管,以降低银行的负债成本,并最终降低小企业的借贷成本。


中国人民银行货币政策司司长孙国锋在周日的新闻发布会上表示,央行将继续通过多种措施,包括减少商业银行非常规创新存款产品等,推动各类贷款利率大幅下降。


孙说,更大的想法是在中国抗击新型冠状病毒爆发的斗争中支持恢复生产和维持经济发展。


结构性存款本质上是存款和投资产品的组合。与此类存款相关的典型金融工具包括市场指数、股票、固定收益工具、大宗商品、外汇,或这些工具的组合。


结构性存款的回报包括保证利息(银行承诺提供的最低回报率)和投资产品的回报(取决于基础资产的表现)。


中国央行表示,一些银行提供的结构性存款的最低回报率应该受到监管,因为它们明显高于传统的存款利率。


今后,银行结构性存款最低收益率将纳入中国人民银行宏观审慎评估体系和市场利率定价自律机制。


融360建普科技大数据研究院的数据显示,1月份到期的1049笔人民币结构性存款的平均回报率为3.71%。中国一年期存款基准利率为1.5%,三年期存款基准利率为2.75%。


中国央行此举似乎引起了市场专家的共鸣。“监管结构性存款的最低回报率,将有效地帮助银行通过提供更高的存款利率,摆脱吸引存款的囚徒困境。”当利率相对较高的保本存款产品不再存在时,储户将别无选择,只能选择风险更高、回报率更低的产品,”以SWS Research有限公司马鲲鹏为首的分析师在一份报告中表示。


“预计中国央行采取的有力措施将显著降低银行债务成本,压低贷款定价,并支撑实体经济。”


自2018年以来,由于存款竞争加剧,以及禁止发行保本理财产品的新规定,结构性存款在中国迅速增长。


与此同时,中国银行保险监督管理委员会的一名官员去年10月表示,产品管理不规范和产品销售误导等问题也出现了。


10月18日,中国证监会还收紧了对银行结构性存款的监管,以控制风险,保护投资者利益。


该措施在12月底将银行的结构性存款余额降至约9.6万亿元(合1.37万亿美元)。


但是,根据中国人民银行的数据,在1月底,这一数字上升了超过12%,达到10.79万亿元。


本月,中国央行再次强调,各银行应继续整顿非常规存款产品,并禁止各银行在提前支取新发行的定期存款(包括大额存单)时,相对于活期存款利率支付更高的利息。

 

原作者: Jiang Xueqing 来自: china daily