Families have withdrawn €19,500 million from banks so far this year, virtually a 2% drop in total bank deposits, which remain generally unpaid despite parallel increases in interest rates. Although part of the retreat is responding to the need to deal with rising costs caused by high inflation, the truth is that another large part has been looking for products with higher returns, such as mutual funds or Treasury bills.
That comes according to data updated this Tuesday by the Bank of Spain, which shows that family deposits closed 2022 at a high of over a trillion euros, but data for July showed a drop to 984,800 million.
Last year (from July 2022 to July 2023), the decrease in these deposits was about 12,600 million, a decrease of 1.3%.
Corporate withdrawals of deposits were even stronger, down 4.2% yoy in July.
5,500 million family withdrawals in one month from bank deposits
In general, families have gradually withdrawn money from their accounts since the beginning of the year, except for the months of April and June.
This withdrawal of funds is in response to the need to cope with the increase in costs caused by high inflation (which means families have to spend more on groceries) and also their interest in finding products that will help them get some of the return on their savings get out.
And it is that given the major banks’ previous refusal to pay interest on deposits, families tend to put their money into mutual funds or other products that offer some degree of profitability, such as Treasury bills.
This is a departure from the relatively recent trend for households to steadily increase their bank deposits as the economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic that erupted in March 2020 deepened. A prudent attitude to spending.
In fact, during the three years of the pandemic (2020-22), Spanish households increased their bank savings by 17.7% to an unprecedented level of over €1 trillion.
LOOKING FOR PROFITABILITY OF SAVINGS LOST IN BANK DEPOSIT
However, a turning point was already apparent in August 2022, when around 3,800 million deposits were withdrawn that month. The balance also fell in September and October of the same year, but rose again in November and December.
In any case, in 2022 Spanish household savings in the form of bank deposits increased by almost 4.6% year-on-year and exceeded the one trillion euro mark for the first time at the end of the year, when the eurozone had already started to rise. the interest rates.
These hikes immediately resulted in an increase in Euribor, and with it the monthly installments of variable-rate mortgages, to the point that the government had to step in so banks could encourage measures to ease mortgage payments for vulnerable families.
Already in 2023, the withdrawal of funds in a single month has become more consistent, although the biggest drop to date was in July compared to June when 5,500 million was vaporized.
COMPANIES WILL HAVE 6% OF THEIR DEPOSITS IN 2023 SO FAR
While family withdrawals have accounted for almost 2% of the total so far this year, corporate withdrawals have reached practically 6% of corporate deposits (which account for less than a third of Spanish household deposits). .
Specifically, companies have withdrawn 18,800 million euros from banks so far this year, bringing the balance of deposits from non-financial corporations to 299,000 million euros in July.