BPI says interest will continue to rise but will not pay deposits “at any price


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The president of BPI said today that interest rates on deposits will continue to rise, but that he is not willing to pay deposits at any price because he wants to preserve the bank’s profitability.

“The [rise] in the remuneration of deposits is happening,” João Pedro Oliveira e Costa told reporters on the sidelines of a lunch-debate sponsored by the International Club of Portugal at a hotel in Lisbon, admitting that the rise “is slow” because the bank wants to preserve its profitability.

“I want to preserve my clients’ deposits, but I am not available to pay deposits at any price,” he said.

According to the manager, currently, in average terms, the term deposits to one year have interest rates of 2%, but stressed that this is in the deposits “remunerated”.

On whether the Government’s decision to lower the remuneration in the new series of savings certificates helped the bank to feel less pressure on deposits, the manager agreed, but said that BPI had already been feeling a slowdown in the transfer of deposits to savings certificates (by the limits that individuals could apply in savings certificates and the rise in interest on deposits that had already been making, justified), so that “there was no significant change” after this measure.

As for the President of the Republic to have asked a “little effort” to banks to “make more attractive” the payment of deposits to the Portuguese, the manager said that BPI “has not made an effort, has done a permanent homework.

João Pedro Oliveira e Costa was today the speaker at the lunch-debate of the International Club of Portugal, having stated that, given the increase in interest rates that has an impact on house payments to the bank, BPI will make “a great effort to get all the Portuguese to keep their homes regardless of the evolution of interest rates” and said that it will count “with the financial slack” that has accumulated for this.

In his speech, BPI’s president also stressed, several times, the work that the bank does in other areas that he considered are rarely talked about (he mentioned the taxes it pays, the increase in salaries, especially the lowest ones, and the work of La Caixa Foundation), considering that the bank is often blamed for several problems, because it is the easy way out.

“We have to point to someone, there are those guys over there, we point to those gentlemen over there”, he said, stating that when it is said: “we all spent 23 billion euros to save banks” this “is not true, it was to save depositors” and that four banks disappeared and “two paid everything and with interest with a 5% margin to the State, BPI and BCP”, considering that “there is a lot of ignorance and a lot of demagoguery”.

The manager reported that at the time of the pandemic covid-19, heard the president of the Food Bank, Isabel Jonet, say on television that had the warehouses empty and then made a group on social network ‘whats app’ with presidents of other banks and that raised 2.5 million euros between companies and individuals.

“It was a big money raising, it was not news, nobody said anything (…,). I didn’t do this for recognition, the recognition is awareness,” he said.

At the lunch-debate at the International Club of Portugal, João Pedro Oliveira e Silva also said that, despite the decrease in housing transactions, there has been no “decrease in prices because there is no supply, there is no new construction” and argued that there should be “a construction program of tens of thousands of houses”, leveraged in private with tax benefits.

“Otherwise we won’t solve the problem, we may have palliatives, but not solutions,” he said.

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