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UOB raises fixed deposit rates, nearing Nov 1998 peak of 3.11%

UOB claims these are the highest rates among the three local banks.

UOB has raised rates on its promotional Singapore dollar fixed deposits, with 10-, 12- and 15-month tenors now at 2.8%, 2.9% and 3.0% p.a. respectively. This is up from last month’s headline rate of 2.8% p.a.

In a statement on Oct 3, UOB claims these are the highest rates among the three local banks.

To enjoy UOB’s promotional rates, customers must deposit fresh funds of at least $20,000.

For its more affluent customers, UOB has also increased its promotional privilege account interest rates from 1.9% p.a. in September to 2.3% p.a. for fresh fund deposits of between $200,000 and $3 million.

Jacquelyn Tan, head of group personal financial services at UOB, says: “Amid heightened economic volatility and rising fears of a global recession, we have seen more customers taking up our Singapore dollar fixed deposit (FD) promotions, with FD volume growth in September 2022 triple that of August this year.”

Tan adds: “Given the persistent high interest rate climate, we have decided to further increase our promotional fixed deposit rates, to present our customers a safe, principle-protected hedge against inflation and volatility… Customers can apply for all three FD tenors online as well as via the UOB TMRW app.”

DBS last raised rates on its fixed deposits on Sept 13, bringing payouts on a 12-month tenor to 1.6% p.a. for deposits between $1,000 and $19,999.

Meanwhile, OCBC is offering a promotional rate of 2.6% p.a. on 12-month fixed deposits of at least $20,000 in fresh funds.

Highest in 24 years

Attractive rates on fixed deposits by the local banks drew long queues at the start of September. With rates on 12-month fixed deposits pushing past 2.75%, Singapore last saw higher rates in November 1998, when it hit 3.11%, according to data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The one-year average return for the November issue of the Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs) set a record high on Oct 3, hitting a peak of 3.21% since its launch in 2015.

SSBs have fixed interest rates that rise for each year they are held, over 10 years. The first-year interest rate of 3.08% in the November issue is also the highest ever for the bond instrument.

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