Paris (Courage) – Italy's largest bank, is preparing to transfer the impact of negative interest rates on bank deposits above 100,000 euros by 2020, Jean-Pierre Mustier said Wednesday. interview for BFM Business.
"Increasingly, these negative rates will be passed on to clients who have large deposits," said the UniCredit chief, for whom the "significant liquidity" threshold was "over 100 & # 39; 000 euros on deposit" with the bank.
"We are working on implementation in the different countries where we are present, so this will happen next year," said Mr Mustier, who recalled shortly before Unicredit, the Third German Bank and the first in Austria and Eastern Europe.
"By 2020, we should expect many activities that can be implemented," he confirmed.
"We need to protect all clients of the most vulnerable banks, those covered by the deposit guarantee, and then on a case-by-case basis, we can consider switching negative rates to big companies or some big clients by offering a large number of alternatives "such as" investing in cash "with" performance goals close to zero, rather than having a negative deposit rate ".
"This is an alternative that is perfectly acceptable," he said.
If Unicredit is the first major European banking group to announce such a listing, in Germany, a country of savers where the decline in return on investment is regularly controversial, smaller banks have already announced a tax on their professional and business clients. of individuals.
These decisions are presented as a consequence of the policy of low interest rates implemented by the European Central Bank (ECB). During the last monetary policy meeting in September, the latter decided to increase the negative rate applied to over-the-counter deposits by private banks and to exceed a certain level, from -0.40% to -0, 50%, while we leave the door open to further reduce the rate.
Realizing that this situation will have a lasting impact on their profitability, European banking institutions are considering putting this effect on their clients, some already doing so at large companies and institutions.
If we "must accept" the ECB's decision, "behind it, we must make sure that the logic is pushed to the end: negative rates should not stop in the banks' balance sheets," argues Mr. Mustier.
AFP / JH