Some private banks have increased the interest rate to 9 per cent per annum on fixed deposit accounts to attract new savers.
Kanbawza Bank (KBZ), which has the most branches across the country, increased the interest rate to nine per cent per annum for 90 days fixed deposit accounts and 9.25 per cent per annum for 180 days fixed deposit accounts. KBZ customers can enjoy the higher interest rate on their accounts. For that special interest rate benefit, the customers can easily open fixed deposit accounts through the nearest bank branches or KBZ mBanking between 26 September and 28 October.
Moreover, CB Bank also boosted the interest rate to 9.1 per cent per annum for 100 days of fixed deposit savings. That promotion period is by the end of November. The minimum amount of 100 Days Fixed Deposit account is K10 million, according to the statement of CB Bank.
As per AGD Bank’s statement, AGD Bank introduced the savers with short-term saving benefits, with an annual interest rate of 9.25 per cent for one to three months fixed deposit account (below K5 million) and 9.35 per cent per annum for three months (above K5 million).
“I have to consider the banking option thoughtfully as we cannot withdraw our own money as much as we want in the pandemic. The customers faced bitter experiences in finding ATM cash availability. So, I will not fall for the new interest rates for now. It is easy to turn gold and dollars into cash. At present, holding dollars is restricted. Yet, gold is considered the safe haven asset in difficult times. If we resell the gold for the maximum cash, we can make greater profits than the interest rate of banks. We can withdraw only K1 million per week at the bank and K300,000 through ATM. As far as digital wallets are concerned, we are charged a percentage for withdrawals as shadow money, we cannot enjoy any saving benefit, U Sein Tun from Thingangyun Township stressed.
The saving customers lost trust in the banks due to cash withdrawal restrictions and past problems.
Some economists speculated in the banking sector that the banks are competitively trying to attract new customers with higher interest rates when they make cash from the dollar, gold and real estate investments.
When the local currency is weakening against the safe-haven dollar in the forex market, people turn to safe assets like real estate and gold rather than banking, and most of the residents in the Yangon Region shared their opinions. – TWA/GNLM