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ICBC offers discount 9 days late

YU Zexuan, a 28-year-old white-collar worker, said he still feels unhappy although the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China yesterday said it will still offer a double mortgage rate discount for existing clients next Tuesday, albeit nine days late.

China's biggest bank said in a statement yesterday that its eligible mortgage clients can enjoy the 30-percent discount from next Tuesday and the bank will automatically grant the discount to qualified clients. It had previously announced Sunday as the start date for the offer.

"It's below standard for the bank," Yu said yesterday. "ICBC is one of the country's big four banks, and other banks didn't back away like this. Banks are running a business on creditability. How can we depositors believe in ICBC in the future?"

Yu received a telephone call from the bank last month informing him he could enjoy the double discount from Sunday. Obviously he was annoyed to learn of the delay. He said he was still awaiting an official confirmation from the bank about the discount and he is yet to be assured.

"I may shift to other banks for other services," he said.

The bank yesterday said home buyers who have no more than two straight defaults in the past two years and previously enjoyed a 15-percent discount before October 27 can also tap the 30-percent discount. Clients who have paid back the defaults and have no more than two straight defaults in the previous 24 months before the latest repayment can seek the 30 percent discount in writing.

ICBC is the last among the big four lenders to unveil its mortgage policy on existing clients but it earlier won plaudits last month when it said it would offer the discount automatically without imposing additional conditions.

Other lenders such as the Bank of Communications and the Bank of China required customers to apply for the double discount.


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