Big banks take heat from Democrat on deposit rates

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., has actually asked the heads of the nation’s biggest banks why they pay reasonably low rates on customers’ deposits regardless of charging customers greater interest on loans. 

As the Federal Reserve has actually raised its benchmark rate of interest, banks have actually upped their rates for home mortgages, charge card and other items. Reed’s workplace, in details accompanying the letters to the heads of JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America, U.S. Bancorp, Truist Financial and PNC Financial Services Group, stated that the interest that banks pay on their clients’ deposits has actually barely altered. 

“Higher interest rates, which are set by the Federal Reserve to help fight inflation, can raise costs for borrowers, but should also mean higher yields for savers,” Reed’s workplace stated. “This is due to the fact that savings accounts at a bank effectively allow the bank to borrow the depositor’s money, for which the institution pays the customer some form of interest in return.” 

In the letters, Reed, the No. 2 Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, keeps in mind that there’s a variation in between “average” clients and banks’ wealthier customers, who have actually secured greater yields. 

“While average consumers have seen virtually no increase in deposit rates, your bank offers higher-yielding longer-term deposit products to well-off customers who can afford to lock up tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for more than a year,” Reed stated in the letters. “But these deposit products are out of reach for many Americans who cannot afford them, and they are no substitute for savings accounts that give customers access to  their money on demand to pay for rent or utilities.” 

Reed questioned bank CEOs about the distinction in between the rates banks charge and those they pay to retail clients in the hearing with the heads of the biggest customer banks in September

Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf stated at the time that the bank was “beginning to raise rates.” 

“We have products that have a range of alternatives, I think, up to a peak of 1.5% as of the other day,” Scharf stated. “And as rates continue to rise, we would expect to continue to increase the rates that we pay our customers.”

Reed stated that considering that Scharf considered that response, interest on cost savings accounts for Wells Fargo clients has “barely budged.” 

The legislator, in the letters, asked for responses by Nov. 15 regarding why banks pay low rates on deposits and charge customers high rate of interest. 


A news media journalist always on the go, I've been published in major publications including VICE, The Atlantic, and TIME.

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