ABN Amro preparing for negative interest rates

ABN Amro business clients may soon feel the effects of the European Central Bank's low interest rates. From October 1st, the Dutch bank is adjusting its conditions to state that the bank can give negative interest rates to account holders with a business checking or -savings account, ANP reports.

According to ABN Amro, this conditions adjustment is to make sure the bank is able to respond to "exceptional market conditions", if necessary. The adjustment does not mean that the bank will immediately start charging customers a negative interest rate. The bank does not know when or if it will happen. "Should it occur, we will strive to spare customers with a restricted balance as much as possible."

This is one of the first times that a bank in the Netherlands is preparing to charge a large group of customers negative interest on their savings, NU.nl reports. The ECB is keeping interest rates in Europe very low in an attempt to boost economic growth.

Three months ago ABN Amro's CEO Gerrit Zalm already warned that negative interest rates are a possibility if the ECB does not raise the rates.