Sidhartha | Updated: Mar 1, 2018, 17:41 IST | Time of India
NEW DELHI: Several lenders, including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank on Thursday announced an increase in lending rates, a move that may make your home loans a little expensive.
The hikes come amid tightening liquidity or cash supply in the banking system, accentuated by the year-end rush that prompted SBI, the country’s largest lender, to raise deposit rates by up to 50 basis points for retail borrowers.
On Thursday, SBI increased its marginal cost of lending rate, which is linked to the interest rate on funds raised by a bank, by 20 basis points (8.15% from 7.95%).
Like SBI, starting March 1, ICICI Bank and PNB increased their MCLR but by a slightly lower magnitude of 15 basis points. Some lenders such as HDFC Bank will review rates next week.
Typically, while extending a home loan, banks keep a spread over the MCLR which results in a higher interest rate on these loans. PNB said that its home loans will cost 8.6% for most borrowers, while women will get it at 8.55%.
SBI has a spread of 40 basis points over the MCLR for most borrowers and 35 basis points for women borrowers (100 basis points equal a percentage point).
While the government has been seeking a lower interest rate and has repeatedly prodded the Reserve Bank of India to pare policy rates, the central bank has resisted a softer interest rate regime, arguing that there is a risk of higher inflation given the recent rise in global crude petroleum prices as well as the impact of domestic measures such as higher allowances for government employees following implementation of the seventh pay commission recommendations. Besides, it has pointed to higher food prices to refrain from cutting policy rates.
With economic growth picking up, RBI may not move that path now and last month the government’s chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian had acknowledged that the scope to lower rates may have narrowed.
After a few hikes in marginal cost based funding rate (MCLR) by some banks in past two months, banks first raised the rates on bulk deposits.
Nikhil Walavalkar | Mar 01, 2018 01:13 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com
The largest public sector bank in India – State Bank of India – has decided to increase the interest rate payable on retail deposits, followed by an increase in MCLR (marginal cost of funds-based lending rate) – the rate charged on loans – by up to 20 basis points. As the largest lender revises its interest rates, should you be worried with your financial plan?
Before getting into corrective measures and means to exploit the rate action, you should spend a minute understanding why rates have gone up.
“Towards the end of the financial year the liquidity in the market has gone down. The banks are keen to raise money. The rates are hiked as a lagged response to the rising bond yields,” said Mahendra Kumar Jajoo, head – fixed income, Mirae Asset Management.
For the uninitiated, the benchmark 10-year bond yield has moved up to 7.78 percent from a low of of 6.18 percent on December 7, 2016.
Banks typically take time to raise their fixed deposit rates. After a few hikes in MCLR by some banks in past two months, banks first raised the rates on bulk deposits. Now interest rates on retail fixed deposits are being hiked. This is a sign of relief for most fixed deposit investors who were forced to consider investing in the volatile stock markets through mutual funds.
Though the interest rate hike on fixed deposits is good news for conservative investors, one should not expect fireworks in the form of aggressive rate hikes in near future.
“As of now the liquidity tightening is the cause behind the fixed deposit rate hikes. RBI has maintained its neutral stance on the monetary issues. This may change to hawkish over next six months,” said Joydeep Sen, founder of wiseinvestor.in, a Mumbai-based wealth management firm.
Though the interest rates are set to go up and others are expected to follow SBI, the process of rate hikes will be gradual. “Bank fixed deposit investors may see higher rates over next six to twelve months. You can consider opting for six months to one year fixed deposits and rolling it over at higher rates when they mature,” Sen advised.
Rising interest rates, however, ring alarm bells for both bond fund investors and borrowers. The increase in yield suppresses the prices of bonds and thereby hurts investors in bond funds as net asset values of the bond funds go down. Recent spike in bond yields have taken a heavy toll on bond funds. Long term gilt funds lost 2.1 percent over past three months, on an average.
The prevalent bond yields are a result of the market discounting RBI’s hawkish stance one year down the line, according to experts. Although opinions are divided on the extent of a further surge in yields, there seems to be a consensus when it comes to volatility in the bond market.
If you are not comfortable with the volatility, you should stay away from long-term bond funds and income funds that invest in longer-term paper.
“Short term bond funds are good investment option at this juncture as they invest in bonds maturing in two to three years, where the yields are attractive,” said Jajoo. If you are comfortable with some amount of volatility and expect a sideways move in yields, you may consider investing in income funds and dynamic bond funds.
While fixed income investors see a mixed bag in the rising interest rate regime, borrowers, especially those on floating rate liabilities, are expected to see tough times ahead. The banking sector is undergoing a situation of extreme pressure on margins due to an increase in non-performing assets like never before.
The rise in yields and fixed deposit rates will ensure that banks will be forced to raise their MCLR. This will result in an increase in the floating rate for home loan borrowers. For example, if you have a Rs 50 lakh home loan for 15 years and the rate is hiked to 8.45 percent from 8.25 percent, then the EMI changes to Rs 49,090 from Rs 48,507, an increase of Rs 583. You may ascertain the possible impact on you using EMI calculator.
“Other banks will definitely follow the MCLR hike action of SBI. The rates on home loans may be hiked by the end of this month or in early April,” said Sukanya Kumar, founder of RetailLending.com.
Banks may postpone their rate hikes to attract home loan volumes and close the financial year with good numbers. But home loan borrowers should be prepared to pay higher EMIs in the near future.
Rates will be revised depending on the MCLR time frame. For example, if your home loan is linked to 6-month MCLR, you can expect rates to change after six months from the last reset. The 6-month MCLR prevalent at that time will be applicable to your home loan at the time of reset.
If interest rates continue their journey northward, cash flows do change for you. Account for them well in advance to ensure that you do not get caught off guard.
By Sangita Mehta | ET Bureau | Updated: Oct 31, 2017, 07.48 PM IST | Economic Times
MUMBAI: Country’s largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI), announced a 5 basis point cut in its benchmark lending rates across maturity, which first cut after 10 months.
The bank has pegged its benchmark rate to 7.95% for a term of one year with effect from November 1 against 8% year charged earlier. Most banks sharply reduced marginal cost of lending rates (MCLR) in January 2017, post demonetisation exercise after they saw huge inflow of deposits.
The reduction in the lending rates also comes within weeks of Rajnish Kumar, taking charge at the helm for a term of three years. The bank will now pegged MCLR to 7.70% for overnight borrowing and 8.10% for three years. Other largest banks like ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank too may announce a token cut in the lending rates.
The new rates will immediately benefit the new borrowers. However, the existing customers may have to wait for a while since under the MCLR system the interest rates charged to the customers is locked for a fixed term.
For home loans, the interest rates are fixed for a term of one year and thus the existing borrower will benefit at the end of the lock-in period.
For salaried women borrower seeking loan of less than Rs 30 lakhs, the bank will now charge 8.30% and for loans between Rs 30 lakhs and Rs 75 lakhs it will charge 8.40%.
For non-salaried women borrower seeking loan less than Rs 30 lakhs the bank will now charge 8.40% and for loans between Rs 30 lakhs and Rs 75 lakhs it will charge 8.50%. For all other borrowers, the bank charges 5 basis points more above the rates charged to women borrower.
The reduction in rates comes at a time when the Reserve Bank of India is revising the formula of pricing the loans. An RBI committee headed by Dr Janak Raj has suggested that interest rate on loans be pegged to external benchmark rates arrived at by market trading rather than leaving it at the discretion of each bank which appear to be coming up with some formula that would defy the best rates for most customers.
While announcing the monetary policy in October 4, the RBI had said, “Arbitrariness in calculating the base rate and MCLR and spreads charged over them has undermined the integrity of the interest rate setting process. The base rate and MCLR regime is also not in sync with global practices on pricing of bank loans.”
Bindisha Sarang | Sep, 29 2017 21:22:01 IST | First Post
For the customers who hold accounts in six state-run banks, here’s a reminder. Sunday, or 1 October is an important date for you because that is the day their cheque books and India Financial System (IFS) codes of their branches would become invalid. These banks are — State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Raipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad and Bhartiya Mahila Bank (BMB).
The government had in February approved the merger of these five associate banks with SBI. Later in March, BMB too got the approval to join the group. With these six banks merging, SBI now becomes a bank with total assets worth Rs 29 lakh crore.
The bank has been asking customers of all these banks to apply for SBI cheque books via net banking, mobile banking, ATM, or by visiting the home branch. Which means if you still haven’t applied for the new cheque books, you have to do it at the earliest.
This is because the cheque books issued by these six banks cannot be used. Also if you have issued any post-dated cheques, you need to take care of them. It’s better you iron out these issues beforehand, if possible today itself. This means you will have to recall the post-dated cheques and issue new ones.
In the past, most acquiring banks let the fixed deposits run their course. Which means old terms continue.
As far as mobile banking goes, you will have to make sure that you make the necessary changes there as well. Since the old IFSC code is no longer valid you will have to start using the new IFS code.
However, SBI hasn’t said a word about ECS issued by the customers of these half a dozen banks. It is safe to deduce that they SBI will take care of things at the back-end, and you need not worry about it. That’s how it has been whenever bank mergers happened. For instance, a few years ago when United Western Bank merged with IDBI Bank, the latter used an account mapping technique for ECS, without discomforting the customers.
Mayur Shetty | TNN | Updated: Sep 12, 2017, 14:42 IST | Times of India
SBI Card customers could soon make payments by merely tapping their smartphone on a swipe machine
MUMBAI: SBI Card customers could soon make payments by merely tapping their smartphone on a swipe machine. SBI Card is updating its mobile application to enable customers make contactless payments at point of sales (PoS) terminals using a technology called Host Card Emulation (HCE) which enables dematerialisation of the card.
Cardholders of the bank already use smartphones as an alternative for cards on the Samsung Pay platform and the bank will next month launch its proprietary application which enables virtualisation of the card in a smartphone using near-field communication (NFC).”Among our recent innovations we have enabled our card for Bharat QR code by incorporating the feature in our app,” said Vijay Jasuja, CEO, SBI Cards. NFC TECH SBI Cards, which recently entered into an agreement for partner GE to exit the venture, is looking to double its base from 50 lakhs in two years. The company , which is the second largest issuer in India, has a renewed focus on SBI customers through pre-approved cards.
SBI Card has doubled its base in three years to over 50 lakhs and is recording fastest growth in issuance with 15 per cent market share of cards in force (CIF) as well as card spends.”Before demonetisation the card volume growth rate was around 60,000 cards per month which increased to over 1 lakh cards per month post-demonetisation period and has now grown to around 2 lakh cards per month,” said Jasuja.
At present, 15-20 per cent of cards come from co-branded partnerships like Big Bazaar and Tata.
31 August 2017 | Moneylife Digital Team
With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) having cut interest rates, banks have been quick to lower the interest rate on savings account from 4% to 3.5% on deposits up to Rs1 crore. State Bank of India (SBI) was the first to announce the cut and this means an immediate fattening of its bottom-line by as much as Rs4,000 crore at the cost of depositors. Remember, Indian banks had not raised savings account interest rate even when interest rates were soaring; but, as always, they are quick to cut. Other banks have followed SBI’s lead.
From 1 April 2017, SBI had announced the levy of a charge for failure to maintain a minimum quarterly balance in savings accounts. As Moneylife Foundation has said in its campaign against bank charges, this affects students and pensioners the most. SBI has always been the safe, go-to bank for both these categories of depositors. It is learnt that a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by Chandrashekar Gaud has shown exactly how the Bank has benefited.
SBI earned Rs235.06 crore as penalty from 38.87 million accounts only in the first quarter of this financial year. This means that the Bank could earn nearly Rs1,000 crore from such penalties alone. Given that banks are unable to recover their bad loans effectively, this appears to be the easy way to recover losses by penalising the most hapless depositors with the least amount of funds. According to a report in Dainik Bhaskar, SBI is deducting charges even from zero balance accounts of poor students, whose scholarship amount is less than what the Bank mandates as the minimum average balance (MAB).
The State-run lender has demanded that depositors maintain a minimum balance of Rs5,000 for urban and Rs1,000 for rural areas, failing which it levies penalty charges. Ironically, poor scholarship students in metro cities, such as Delhi and Mumbai, are also being forced to keep an impossible minimum balance of Rs5,000. So far, the government has not bothered to respond to pleas about such unconscionable charges. Moneylife has always argued that banks earn hefty spreads of over 7% on deposits which are among the highest spreads in the world; so banks have no reason to levy innumerable charges on ordinary depositors. SBI also levies Rs10+ service charges per ATM transaction, Rs20 for other bank ATM transactions, and Rs50 for branch transactions beyond the four free transactions per month.
An expert says in comparison to savings account, liquid funds will give better returns as the interest rate on them is around 6.5% which is 1-2% higher than savings deposit
Vivina Vishwanathan | Mon, Jul 31 2017. 07 53 PM IST | LiveMint.com
On Monday, State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, cut the interest rate on savings account deposits from 4% to 3.5% per annum. The bank, in a BSE notification, said the 3.5% per annum interest rate is for deposits up to Rs1 crore in a savings account. For deposits above Rs1 crore, account holders will continue to earn 4% interest. Here is a look at what it means and what you should do:
The rate cut
Till 2010-11, the interest rate on savings account deposits stood at 3.5%. In October 2011, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deregulated interest rate on savings accounts. This allowed banks to set their own interest rates. From 2011-12 onwards, a majority of the large commercial banks offered an interest rate of 4%. However, then new banks such as Yes Bank Ltd and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd started offering higher interest rates of 6-7%. Even today these banks offer a higher interest rate.
But why did SBI cut its interest rate?
“The rationale is that the real interest rate is very high right now. In April 2011, interest rate on savings accounts was 3.5% and then there was a negative carry of nearly 5%. Today, if you look at inflation and all other benchmark rates, there is a positive carry of nearly 2.46% on savings bank interest. Real interest being so high, there was no choice for the bank but to bring down the savings account interest rate. The choice was either to raise MCLR (marginal cost of funds-based lending rate) or reduce the savings bank rate. We didn’t consider it appropriate to raise MCLR,” said Rajnish Kumar, managing director, SBI.
What should you do?
Financial planners don’t recommend leaving money idle in a savings bank account. “Typically at 4% interest rate, it was never recommended to leave money in a savings account. At 3.5% it further doesn’t make any sense at all,” said Surya Bhatia, a New Delhi-based financial planner.
Then what should you do?
“Ideally, you should put your money in instruments that give you better returns. You can make use of sweep-in fixed deposit product or liquid funds,” said Bhatia. If you are under the higher tax brackets, fixed deposit may not work for you. Liquid fund will be a better option.
Swarup Mohanty, chief executive officer, Mirae Asset Global Investments (India) Pvt. Ltd, said, “For the first time, the realization of a low interest rate is likely to hit the consumers. SBI’s move will also start the entire process of shifting investment from guaranteed products to other financial assets. This is going to be a significant turning point for incremental money to move towards financial instruments. However, I am not concluding that all money will come to mutual funds but we will benefit,” said Mohanty.
So what is the interest rate on liquid funds?
“In comparison to savings account, a liquid fund will give you better returns. Currently the interest rate on liquid funds is around 6.5%. Last year it was around 8-9%. In any case you will benefit since you are likely to get 1-2% higher returns higher than savings deposit,” said Mohanty.
Hence, instead of leaving your money idle in a bank account, put it to work through other financial products.