Dutch households continue saving steadily even post-pandemic
In 2022, bank balances of Dutch households increased further. The aggregate balance held in payment and savings accounts rose by €34.1 billion last year to reach €562.5 billion (equal to 61% of annual GDP). Dutch people continued to put aside substantial amounts in 2022, DNB statistics show.
Published: 30 January 2023
Despite rising prices, the growth in bank balances of Dutch households almost equalled that in the COVID-19 years 2020 and 2021. At €34.1 billion, the 2022 increase is slightly smaller than those in the previous two years, which were €42.6 billion in 2020 and €36.8 billion in 2021. In those years, the disposable incomes of most households were maintained due in part to extensive government support, while the lockdown measures led to a fall in consumption.
Even so, the €34.1 billion increase seen in 2022 is still substantial, especially compared to the pre-pandemic period. In the 2012-2019 period, annual savings growth averaged a "mere” €9.2 billion. Households possibly saved up more in payment and savings accounts in 2022 as a precautionary measure due to uncertainty about the economy and their own finances.
Credited interest on savings accounts reached low point
The increase in bank balances can be broken down by payment and savings accounts. In addition, the increase in savings balances can be broken down by net deposits and credited interest. As in previous years, the increase in Dutch households' bank balances in 2022 is almost entirely due to net deposits in savings accounts and increased balances in payment accounts.
Despite the record size of savings balances, the interest credited to savings accounts was historically low. Over 2022, €0.5 billion in interest was credited to savings accounts, the lowest amount since our record-keeping began, in 1998. In 2012, credited interest on savings accounts peaked at €6.0 billion before steadily declining. However, the low point seems to have been reached in 2022, as credited interest is expected to rise in 2023 due to slightly higher interest rates on savings accounts since the summer of 2022.
Instant access savings accounts gain popularity
Of the €562.5 billion in household bank balances at 31 December 2022, almost two-thirds (€369.9 billion) are in instant access savings accounts. The remainder is in payment accounts (€131.5 billion) or fixed-term savings accounts (€61.1 billion).
In particular, instant access savings accounts were popular among Dutch households in 2022: balances in this type of account increased by €23.2 billion. By contrast, payment accounts were relatively popular In the COVID-19 years 2020 and 2021. The slight increase in interest rates on savings accounts may explain the increased popularity of instant access savings accounts.
Growth in fixed-term savings accounts was relatively small at €0.6 billion. This category includes home construction accounts and accounts linked to savings-based mortgages and employee savings schemes. The small increase coincides with a sharp decline in new residential mortgages granted by banking institutions.