October 9, 2019 / 2:33 PM / 2 months ago

Italy's Unicredit working on measures to transfer negative rates to depositors

MILAN, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Unicredit, Italy’s biggest lender, is working on measures to transfer the European Central Bank’s negative rates onto clients holding more than 100,000 euros ($110,000) in their accounts, Chief Executive Jean-Pierre Mustier said on Wednesday.

The ECB last month cut rates deeper into negative territory as part of monetary stimulus aimed at reviving an ailing euro zone economy, nearly a decade after the bloc’s debt crisis.

In particular, the ECB’s deposit rate was reduced by a further 10 basis points to -0.50%.

Mustier, who chairs the European Banking Federation, said in an interview with French TV channel BFM Business that “negative rates have a significant impact on European banks’ revenues”.

To counter this, banks “can transfer negative rates case by case onto big companies or some big clients”, Mustier said, describing such clients as those with deposits of more than 100,000 euros. He did not elaborate.

Unicredit is working to finalise such measures in the countries where the bank operates “so they are fully in place next year”, Mustier said. ($1 = 0.9111 euros) (Reporting by Andrea Mandalà; Writing by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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