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Commerzbank has announced it will charge big corporate clients fees if they hold substantial deposits at the bank.

The German bank is the first major bank to make such a move and says it will encourage big clients to move cash into alternative investments.

Private savers and small and medium sized businesses will not be affected by the policy.

In June the European Central Bank (ECB) said that banks would have to pay to park money at the central bank.

That negative interest rate was an effort to spur banks and other financial institutions to lend money rather than leave it on deposit.

In September it made holding money at the ECB even less attractive by cutting the rate on overnight deposits to minus 0.2%.

Commerzbank’s has become the first private bank to mirror that move.

“We reserve the right to charge some large corporates a fee on parked liquidity,” Commerzbank said in a statement.