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Dutch households book investment gains in first quarter of 2023


Dutch investors started off well in 2023 – in the first quarter, the value of investments held by Dutch households increased by €7.8 billion. Despite the turmoil in financial markets, Dutch households also invested more in equities and bonds issued by banks.

Published: 23 May 2023

The €7.8 billion (+5.1% quarter-on-quarter) increase in value follows the large losses Dutch households suffered on their investments during 2022 (€29.6 billion, -16.2%), mainly on equities. The last time the value of total household investments increased by over €7 billion in a single quarter was at the end of 2021. In total, households investments stood at €160.9 billion as at 31 March 2023.

Dutch households invest more in banks

Dutch households made net purchases of bank shares and bonds in 2022 and the first quarter of 2023 despite ongoing turmoil in financial markets since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and recent problems at US and Swiss banks.

These net purchases are also notable because in 2020 and 2021, Dutch households actually sold investments in banks on balance.

Dutch households have once again been buying more equities and bonds from global banks since 2022. Whereas net equity and bond sales in 2020 and 2021 were €825 million and €700 million respectively, net purchases for 2022 were €711 million and €73 million in the first quarter of 2023.

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.

Earlier, our research showed that public trust in financial institutions had remained stable. The survey was held in the second half of March 2023, coinciding with the bankruptcy of US Silicon Valley Bank and the takeover of troubled Credit Suisse by UBS in Switzerland. Trust is also reflected in the large net purchases of bank equities and bonds of €95 million in March 2023 .

Impairment of bank investments due to price losses

Despite net purchases in 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, the value of investments in banks declined due to price losses to €5.4 billion in the first quarter of this year from a peak of €7.1 billion in the third quarter of 2021. For the whole of 2022, price losses on bank equities and bonds totalled €2.1 billion, resulting in a 32% loss for Dutch households.

Positions in banks comprise 10% of the value of total investments of Dutch households in equities and bonds. Of this, €4.7 billion was invested in equities and €748 million in bonds. The most significant holdings are Dutch listed equities, mainly in ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank Member Certificates, which qualify as equity according to statistical guidelines.

Dutch households have hardly any direct exposures to US banks. Indirect holdings of bank securities through investment funds have been excluded from this analysis.

Household investments viewed in perspective

According to figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the Netherlands has 8.1 million private households. Of these, 1.9 million invest, according to research (Dutch) conducted by the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM).

The total securities holdings of Dutch households consist of listed equities (€55.4 billion), positions in investment funds (€100.4 billion) and debt securities (€5.1 billion). In contrast, total Dutch households savings amounted to €436.2 billion as at 31 March 2023.

Dutch households also hold substantial assets with pension funds, insurers and in the housing market; these assets have been excluded from this analysis.

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