Skip to content

Penalty interest for savers: Germans' assets are melting away at the bank - FOCUS Online

Savings rate high, penalty interest rates too: Germans' assets are melting away at the bank

Savings banks and credit unions have long been the advocates of small savers. That has changed: While savers are putting more and more money aside, almost every second bank is charging them a so-called "custody fee". For the banks, this can turn into a business.

Germans are saving their heads off. People and banks are in a race against each other: One is putting more and more money aside, while the other is taking an ever larger share of it. We are talking about the savings efforts of Germans on the one hand and the penalty interest rates that savings banks, cooperative banks and private banks alike charge on the accumulated assets of their customers on the other.

In the face of short-time work, unemployment and a perceived uncertain future after the pandemic and due to closed stores, cancelled Travel and postponed events, many people are currently keeping their money together. The result: In the Corona year 2020, Germans saved more than ever before. According to calculations by DZ Bank, the financial assets of private households increased by 393 billion to a record value of 7.1 trillion euros. Compared with the previous year, this represents an increase of almost six percent. The bank assumes a savings rate of 16 percent. Each household therefore managed to put a whopping 16 out of every 100 euros on the high side.

The trend toward negative interest rates on private deposits continues to grow

The problem is that they are not safe there. That's because the second trend is taking full effect when it comes to Germans' savings. Almost every day, new banks and savings banks are charging 0.5 percent penalty interest, and sometimes more, on private deposits. If the trend continues at this pace, the financial portal Biallo has now calculated, by the end of 2021 more than one in two financial institutions in Germany will officially be charging a so-called "custodian fee.