Tuesday, 31 January, 2023
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Banks may raise interest rates in January

Banks may raise interest rates in January

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The commercial banks are set to raise the interest rates from January next year although Bangladesh Bank (BB) is yet to issue any circular in this regard.

Bangladesh Bank Governor in a recent meeting advised the banks to increase the deposit rate considering the inflation rates, the managing director of a bank informed the Daily Sun.

“As per the verbal directive, a bank can raise the lending rate to up to 12 percent for retail credit on par with inflation rate. The rate will remain unchanged for the term loans for big industries. Some banks have already implemented the new rates,” the banker said.

The inflation rate stood at 8.85 percent in November, according to data from Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.

Regarding the lending rate, Policy Research Institute (PRI) executive director Ahsan H Mansur said there should be a written circular for revising the interest rates.

“Banking is a core issue of the economy, which should maintain good governance. As the interest rates have been lowered by a circular, the rates can be changed by a new circular. And it is important for the banking rules and regulations,” Dr Mansur told the Daily Sun on Wednesday.

In that case, initially, SME and personal loans, which are the loans provided against consumer products, may see a rise in the first phase.

Former chairman of Association of Bankers Bangladesh (ABB) Syed Mahbubur Rahman said there is no formal instruction to hike the rates while the banks only follow the governor’s directive to keep interest rate adjusted with inflation.

On December 4, Association of Bankers Bangladesh (ABB) chairman Salim RF Hussain informed that the banks got approval from central bank to increase the interest rates up to 12 percent in retail loans. Bangladesh Bank issued a circular imposing 9 percent ceiling on interest rate for all schedule banks from April 01, 2020.

There are 61 commercial banks in the country while the banking sector deposit topped Tk 14.90 trillion with advance worth Tk 14.34 trillion till October.