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Banks’ Hidden Practice of High Quarter-end Rates to Lure Deposits

In March, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) launched spot checks on banks’ illegal practice of attracting deposits as the quarter-end review of banks’ financial status approached.
Many banks are known for the hidden practice of offering significantly high returns on financial products with an issuance period that spans end-of-quarter dates such as March 31. Increasing deposits in this way can reduce the loan-to-deposit ratio below the 75% industrial red line. For example, on March 31, some banks have offered 80,000 yuan in daily interest for a 10 million yuan deposit (the equivalent of a 300% annual interest rate). In March last year, some banks even put up an announcement that, depending on the amount of the deposit, the depositors might receive returns in kind, such as eggs and cooking oil. In September last year, CBRC criticized a list of banks for such illegalities, including the Agricultural Bank of China.

Source: Beijing Morning Post, April 11, 2011