Recently, there were 2 hour long queues to place fixed deposits with Singapore banks. To me, it is not financially wise as there are two Singapore Financial Products available to all Singaporeans and are providing higher rates - (i) Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) and (ii) 6-month Treasury T bills issued by Singapore.
Both are yielding more than 2.6%. In short, if you are placing Fixed Deposits (FD) with banks, you are becoming relatively poorer to others who put in SSB and T bills.
Higher Rate better Credit Rating than Singapore Banks
Below are the current rates for SSB and T-bills.
SSB- 2.6% for first year and eventually rises to 2.99%. Can be applied at any ATM as long as you have a CDP.
T-bills: Shorter duration than SSB or FDs (about 6 months). Current rate is about 3.3% per annum, which is the highest. Only downside is that you will need to hold to maturity about 6 months to a year. Individuals can approach a bank manager to enquire on how to apply. My advice will be to select the non competitive tranche to get allocation. T-bills are subject to institutional investors bidding and given the high interest rate environment, they are bidding around 3% for Singapore T-bills.
What's even better is that SSB and T-bills are issued and backed by the Singapore government that has higher credit rating than our banks. A higher interest rate, better credit rating, short duration or no locking you up- what better way there is than to invest in our government's SSB and T-bills
Do not be Tricked by Bank Staff
Unfortunately in Singapore, most bank staff are sales driven and will peddle you products that are not in your best interest. Forget about their talks of saving investment products. While they are higher rates (in the T-bills interest range), they lock you up for a longer duration than T-bills and early redemption results in penalties. SSB has no penalty for early redemption and T-bills while they lock you up, are at most a 1-year duration.
If you want higher rates, go for Singapore T-bills they are as good as investment products and lock you up for less than 1 year. The products being marketed by banks lock you up for a longer period and have financial penalties for early redemption.
Right now as interest rates rises likely to 4-5% level, you do not want to to be locked at such low rates. SSB and T bills offered by the Singapore government is currently one of the best ways to grow your wealth at close to risk free, as opposed to the Singapore banks.
This article is not a sponsored post from the Government of Singapore, but to remind individuals that investing in Singapore banks are making you relatively poorer. The author believes in writing neutral articles with no financial motives.