Banco de Moçambique criticises commercial banks’ reluctance to lower interest rates

14 November 2012

The Banco de Moçambique is dissatisfied with the slow action taken by commercial banks to lower the interest rates they charge their clients, bank spokesman Waldemar de Sousa said, reports the Mozambican daily O País.

From September to last Monday the standard lending facility fell from 16.5 percent to 9.5 percent, de Sousa said during the presentation of “Economic Situation and Prospect of Inflation”, a document containing recent studies on the Mozambican and international economy.

“But the prime rates the commercial banks charge their clients only fell from 19 percent in December 2011 to about 16 percent in September 2012, which is clearly not enough,” he added.

De Sousa said that the commercial banks’ reaction to continual reductions in the central bank’s master rates has been timid at best, and that he expected a more rapid banking system response to Banco de Moçambique decisions.

Despite categorising the commercial banks’ response as insufficient, the spokesman for Mozambique’s central bank acknowledged that the price of money had fallen from December of last year to October of this year.

“The interest rates the banks apply to the best clients fell from 19 percent in December 2011 to about 16 percent in September 2012; the average rates for credit operations for a one-year period fell from 23.7 percent to about 21 percent; and deposit rates fell from 13.4 percent to about 11 percent,” de Sousa explained. (macauhub)