Jonas Hamers / ImageGlobe

Belgians hold 278 billion in savings

Belgians may like to complain about the cost of living, but fresh figures from the banks show that Belgians have savings’ deposits worth 278 billion euros.  Despite low interest rates Belgians are continuing to add to their deposits.

Many Belgians, if they have any cash spare, will choose to deposit it on a savings account despite the fact that the interest this investment generates is lower than inflation.  In real terms savings deposits are losing their value.

All banks reported more cash flowing to their savings accounts last year: BNP Paribas Fortis is market leader and can boast deposits of 63 billion euros.  The bank saw savings’ deposits rise by 3.47% last year.  Other banks reported even bigger increases: e.g. 9.2% at KBC.

KBC’s Viviane Huybrecht identifies three reasons for the rise in savings: “Spending power has increased.  People are not only spending more, they are also saving more.  The yield of other investments, bonds and fixed term accounts, has diminished too.  People are not minded to take too many risks with their cash.  In addition many people are depositing cash on savings accounts in anticipation of a bigger investment.”