Dutch households not saving enough

Dutch households not saving enough

Dutch households are not saving enough money. In the second half of 2013 they withdrew a net amount of EUR 7 billion from their savings accounts according to recent figures from the Dutch Central Bank.

In the second half of 2013, Dutch households withdrew more savings from banks than they deposited. On balance, money was withdrawn from instant access deposit accounts in particular, whereas fixed-term deposits saw a slight inflow of funds.

At the end of 2013, savings of Dutch households held with banks in the Netherlands totalled EUR 325 billion. Over 85% of this amount has been put on instant access accounts, e.g. online savings accounts. The remaining EUR 48 billion has been deposited on term savings accounts, which generally offer somewhat higher interest rates than their instant access counterparts. The total amount of household savings held with banks has been gradually declining since mid-2013, falling by some EUR 5 billion in the second half of the year. The decline is entirely attributable to the decreasing amount of savings held on instant access savings accounts.

The underlying trend in the amount of household savings is also reflected in the monthly net inflow of savings (i.e. excluding interest credited). Monthly net inflows display a familiar seasonal pattern showing large net inflows in January and May. During the last six months of 2013, net savings inflows were negative without exception; Dutch households in the second half of 2013 withdrew a net amount of EUR 7 billion from their savings accounts. This is the first time in the history of savings statistics that for six consecutive months more savings were withdrawn than deposited.

A possible explanation for this net withdrawal is that households are withdrawing savings in order to make additional redemptions on their mortgages. In addition to this, credit interest paid on instant access deposits dropped further in the second half of 2013, which may have prompted households to look for alternative uses for their savings.

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