Some analysts, however, had a contrarian explanation. “SBI, like others, was expecting RBI to reduce or maintain status quo on the repo rate. It would have been difficult for it to raise rates if the RBI had, as expected, cut it. So, SBI may have played it safe by hiking the rates just a day before monetary policy,” said a banking analyst with a Mumbai-based broking firm.
SBI on Thursday hiked its base rate by 0.1 percentage point, making home, car and other consumer loans costlier. The bank also hiked interest rates on fixed deposits in a rangeof 0.3-1.0 percentage points across maturities. Other major private lenders ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank had hiked rates last month, but SBI did not follow suit then, saying that it had sufficient liquidity.