The Wall Street Journal writes "These Bank Customers Are Making a Bundle on Their Deposits." The article explains, "Despite seven interest-rate increases by the Federal Reserve since 2015, many banks have resisted rewarding deposit customers with higher rates. Some customers, however, are getting a far better deal. The recent moves from the Fed have set off a battle for deposits for the first time since the financial crisis. In an effort to stanch deposit declines, lenders are offering new customers one-time payments of hundreds of dollars to open accounts. For the banks, these bonuses can have the benefit of being tucked away in obscure parts of earnings reports where they don't weigh on closely followed profitability metrics. While some lenders have been giving deposit bonuses for years, the pitches have grown larger and more common. Over the six months ended in March, the number of banks sending more than five million of the mail offers has risen to 15 from seven in mid-2015, according to consulting firm Novantas." The Journal adds, "The push comes as deposits have grown harder to come by. The Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate by about 1.75 percentage points, which has caused some depositors to shop around for a money-market fund that earns higher yields. The central bank is also unwinding its balance sheet, a process that broadly sucks deposits out of the financial system.... But growth in deposits has slowed, which threatens an important source of low-cost funding for banks in recent years. When the Fed raised interest rates in the past, banks raised rates paid to depositors to keep them around. This time around, banks have passed along only 18% of the benefit from higher rates to customers, according to Erika Najarian, a bank analyst at Bank of America Corp."

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