Dutch households pushed their savings rate to the highest level by depositing substantially more money in bank savings accounts.
The total balance in bank savings accounts of Dutch households was more than 7 billion euro on 31 December 2010. According to figures released today by Statistics Netherlands, this is nearly three times the amount in these accounts twelve months previously.
In addition to saving for pension provisions and to pay off a mortgage, it also became possible in 2010 to save for a funeral and to deposit ‘golden handshake’ payments with tax advantages. At the end of 2010, more than 800 million euro was deposited in bank savings accounts as a result of ‘golden handshakes’. Hardly any savings accounts were opened to save for funerals, on the other hand.
The savings balance in banks to pay mortgage debts grew substantially in 2010, from 0.3 billion euro at the end of 2009 to 1.5 billion euro one year later. Saving with a bank for old age provisions remained as popular as ever. At the end of 2010 the balance in these accounts was over 4.7 billion euro, more than double the amount at the end of 2009.
To stimulate spending, the government lifted the restrictions on savings deposited in accounts under the company savings scheme in September 2010, making it possible for savers to use the money without the previous limiting conditions. As a result, consumers withdrew 2.1 billion euro from these accounts.
Together, Dutch households had 291 billion euro in savings accounts on 31 December 2010. This is over 2 percent more than twelve months previously. Compared with 2009 there was a further shift in 2010 from fixed term deposits to deposits at notice. One reason for this is the low level of interest rates on the money and capital markets.