Tepid demand for new yuan-denominated savings accounts in Hong Kong is prompting some local banks to employ new strategies to compete for market share, while others are waiting until the yuan banking scheme is expanded later this year. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said yesterday yuan deposits at the 37 authorised local banks stood at 6.29 billion yuan at the end of May, up about 13.5 per cent over the 5.54 billion yuan in April. The deposit growth is the slowest since Hong Kong lenders were permitted to offer limited yuan-denominated retail banking services in February. Since April, almost every participating bank has raised deposit rates in an attempt to spark interest in the scheme. Although there are no official statistics, Bank of China Hong Kong (BOCHK) is widely believed to command the largest share of yuan deposits in Hong Kong. As the higher rates have failed to stem the decline in deposit growth, some banks are now trying to lure customers with promotional incentives. Earlier this month, HSBC launched a campaign featuring rebates of between $20 and $30, fee waivers and bonus gifts. But other banks, including BOCHK and Standard Chartered, appear content to wait. Liu Chong Hing Bank manager Brian Cheung Nam-chung said many banks were 'in no hurry' to solicit customers until the second phase of the yuan banking scheme, expected to greatly expand the authorised scope of business in the currency, is approved by mainland authorities.