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Policy rates (%) in the period 1999-2016 for three central banks

Policy rates (%) in the period 1999-2016 for three central banks

Policy rates (%) in the period 1999-2016 for three central banks

In 2014, after a number of previous cuts to its key interest rates and the adoption of various non-conventional monetary policy measures, for the first time in its history the ECB set a negative rate on the deposit facility. This decision raised a storm of criticism, from two main fronts: on one hand, Member States with high savings rates – for example Germany, which reacted through the voice of the media, think-tanks, its financial supervisory authority, and even its minister of finance − criticised ECB policy as ineffective and ultimately as ‘expropriating’ savers. On the other hand the industry, particularly banks, insurance companies and asset management firms, alone or through their associations, criticised the policy as unsustainable, given their respective business models.

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