The People's Bank of China has announced it will stop offering depositors a subsidised savings service from today. Xinhua (the New China News Agency) last night quoted a bank spokesman as saying the service would be scrapped but existing depositors would continue to receive compensation. The move is apparently part of a series of economic initiatives announced by the Government to take effect today. The central bank started the service three years ago when the mainland was hit by an inflation crisis, with price rises running at more than 20 per cent a month. The spokesman said that since the crisis was largely over, the bank no longer considered the service necessary. Under the scheme, the bank paid depositors interest on their deposits plus compensation calculated on inflation rates. Analysts said the move indicated the Government was confident it could avoid another inflation crisis this year while keeping the economy booming.