Bangladesh Unleashes Market-Driven Rates: Deposit Floor Scrapped After Lending Cap Lifted

In a significant move towards market-driven interest rates, the Bangladesh Bank has removed the floor rate on term deposits, just weeks after lifting the ceiling on lending rates. This policy shift aims to inject greater flexibility into the financial system and encourage banks to compete for deposits based on their own operating costs and profit margins.

Previously, banks were required to offer a minimum interest rate on deposits that was linked to the three-month moving average of inflation. This policy, introduced in August 2021, aimed to protect savers from the erosion of their purchasing power during periods of high inflation. However, it also put pressure on banks' profitability, as they were often forced to offer deposit rates that were higher than their lending rates.

By scrapping the deposit floor, the Bangladesh Bank is giving banks more leeway to set their own interest rates. This could lead to a more competitive landscape for deposits, as banks vie for savers' money by offering attractive rates. The move is also expected to boost bank profitability, as they will no longer be constrained by the inflation-linked floor rate.

The removal of the deposit floor is part of a broader package of reforms undertaken by the Bangladesh Bank to liberalize the financial system. In November 2023, the central bank also lifted the 4% cap on the spread between deposit and lending rates. This allows banks to charge borrowers a wider range of interest rates, depending on their creditworthiness and risk profile.

The combined effect of these reforms is expected to create a more dynamic and efficient financial system in Bangladesh. By allowing market forces to play a greater role in setting interest rates, the Bangladesh Bank hopes to encourage lending, boost investment, and ultimately drive economic growth.

However, some analysts have expressed concerns about the potential risks associated with the new policy. They warn that the removal of the deposit floor could lead to volatility in interest rates, making it difficult for businesses and individuals to plan their finances. Additionally, they worry that banks may take advantage of the newfound flexibility to raise deposit rates for high-net-worth individuals, while offering lower rates to ordinary savers.

Despite these concerns, the Bangladesh Bank believes that the benefits of a market-driven interest rate system outweigh the risks. The central bank is confident that the new policy will ultimately lead to a more efficient and vibrant financial system that can support Bangladesh's continued economic growth.


The scrapping of the deposit floor in Bangladesh is a bold move that could have far-reaching consequences for the country's financial system. While there are potential risks associated with the new policy, the potential benefits of a market-driven interest rate system are significant. Ultimately, the success of this policy will depend on how effectively the Bangladesh Bank manages the transition and ensures that the new system operates in a fair and transparent manner.

Keywords: Bangladesh Bank, deposit rate, lending rate, market-driven interest rates, financial system reform, economic growth.

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