A poll of 4,000 firms in the country conducted by the respected Ifo think tank found that almost a fifth had seen banks try to charge negative interest rates on their deposits. Overall, 19.8 per cent of firms faced charges, with larger firms more likely than smaller ones to face charges. However, just 8 per cent of those threatened with charges accepted negative rates.

... [But] the research also suggested that the policy was achieving one of its aims: to boost economic growth. According to the study, 11 per cent of those facing the charges increased or brought forward investments. Around half of companies threatened with the charges began to negotiate with the bank, while more than a third joined another lender. Thirty per cent bought other assets or repaid loans and 29 per cent redeployed their money elsewhere in their companies.

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