A major high street bank has paved the way for the introduction of negative interest rates for the first time in Britain by warning customers it may have to charge them to accept deposits.
The warning by NatWest was made in a letter changing the terms and conditions for the bank’s 850,000 business customers, which range from self-employed traders, charities and clubs to big corporations.
It could mean that an account holder with £1,000 in a NatWest account could see that shrink to £999 or less the following year as the bank charges a negative rate of interest.
In its letter to customers, NatWest said: “Global interest rates remain at very low levels and in some markets are currently negative. Dependent on future market conditions, this could result in us charging interest on credit balances.”
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