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Exceptional growth in household deposits in 2020


Households deposited almost EUR 42 billion into their bank and savings accounts with Dutch banks in 2020, which is twice as much as in 2019. The main reasons for this are the containment measures and the increased economic uncertainty related to the coronavirus crisis. Most households seem to prefer more liquid forms of savings, since the lion's share of deposits were made into current accounts and instant access savings accounts.

Published: 29 January 2021

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Doubling of household balances

At the end of 2020, Dutch households held over EUR 487 billion in their bank and savings accounts, up almost EUR 42 billion on the previous year. They deposited most of this (EUR 21 billion) in instant access savings accounts, while the balance of their current accounts increased by EUR 20 billion. Compared to previous years, household balance growth has been exceptional in 2020. In 2019 growth was EUR 21 billion, which was already more than in the preceding years. 

Source: DNB statistics

At De Nederlandsche Bank, we independently compile statistics on the Dutch financial sector and economy. This article is based on these statistics. More information on our statistics and all dashboards can be found on our Statistics homepage.

Growing savings

The main reason for the exceptional growth of savings in 2020 is the coronavirus crisis, and the measures taken to contain the virus. While the disposable income of most households was maintained due in part to extensive government support, the lockdown measures and economic uncertainty led to a sharp fall in consumption. According to the most recent estimates, the saving rate – which reflects the relationship between savings and disposable income – stands at 11.1% in 2020. By comparison, in 2019 it stood at 3.1% (Economic Developments and Outlook, December 2020). 

Preference for liquid forms of savings

10.4% of the estimated annual disposable income of households was deposited into savings accounts or instant access savings accounts (such as internet savings accounts). The remaining, significantly smaller, share was used for other purposes, such as investments in equity funds or debt repayments. Notably, less additional money was deposited into fixed-term savings accounts. Dutch households seem to prefer forms of savings accounts that are more easily accessible. 

The exceptional circumstances of 2020, with increased economic uncertainty and restricted consumption possibilities (including holidays) are also reflected in the development of net deposits in savings accounts during the year. The traditional holiday bonus peak in May was particularly high in 2020, and net deposits in all months – except December – were positive. This is exceptional, because net deposits are generally negative in the second half of the year as a result of holidays, the holiday season and voluntary mortgage repayments. 

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