Banif Bank (Malta) plc decided to pass on part of the reduction in the ECB base rate to its Clients. Banif Bank has today announced that it will be reducing its base rate for home loans by 30 basis points, from 2.5% to 2.2%, with effect from Monday 16th March 2009, coinciding with the launch of its home loans package. This strategic move is in line with the differentiation strategy adopted by the Bank which is aimed to offer a high level of service centred around the needs of its Customers.
Whilst understanding the volatility of the market conditions, the Bank strongly believes that it has to safeguard the interest of all of its Clients. In this regard, Banif will be keeping its base rate unchanged for a number of products including deposit products. The Bank is doing this in order to continue paying competitive rates to its depositors whilst at the same time reducing the base rate for home loans, particularly to assist first time buyers since the Bank believes in the future of young couples.
Banif already offers some of the best deposit options in terms of both rates and product features. The Bank pays interest on its current accounts, offers term deposit accounts with the flexibility to withdraw whilst still paying interest and offers the best rates for consumer lending. The reduction in the base rate will now enable the Bank to offer very competitive terms for home loans as well. ‘It is also very important for Clients to get to know the real costs they will be paying for their loans. Clients should ask for the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) which encompasses the interest rate on the loan, bank fees and other charges applicable to the banking product bought, which consumers tend to overlook’, said a representative from the Products Department of the Bank.
When questioned about the recent developments in the local financial market, in particular the charges imposed on internet banking facilities, Mr. Joaquim Silva Pinto, CEO of Banif Bank said, ‘Although Banif is a small player, we are very sensitive to the local market and fully understand the needs of the clients. It is the Bank’s policy to offer the best options to our Clients and not charge any fees for internet banking subscriptions. The investment made on the development of the internet banking system is aimed to reduce the overheads of the Bank. Hence, it does not make sense to charge the client for something that is reducing costs for the Bank.’ The CEO concluded by saying that Banif is an alternative bank, a bank that offers added value to both retail and corporate Clients.