Belgians have record amount of savings
3 January 2006, BRUSSELS — Belgian households had a record EUR 157.8 billion in savings accounts at the end of 2005, an increase of 5 percent compared with the end of 2004.
3 January 2006
BRUSSELS — Belgian households had a record EUR 157.8 billion in savings accounts at the end of 2005, an increase of 5 percent compared with the end of 2004.
The figure is also slightly more than the previous record of EUR 157.6 billion recorded at the end of June 2005.
The amount of savings fell slightly in the 3rd quarter of last year, but rose again in the 4th quarter to register the new record amount.
Uncertainty over the federal government's plan to raise taxes on investment funds led to a shift towards traditional savings accounts, newspaper 'De Tijd' reported on Tuesday.
The newspaper questioned 10 banks about their savings account deposits. Together the banks hold 90 percent of Belgium's total savings account funds.
The banks held a combined total of EUR 141.8 billion in savings accounts. If that amount is extrapolated to the entire sector, it can be estimated that Belgian households held EUR 157.8 billion in savings accounts at the end of 2005.
The record amount recorded in June 2005 was slightly bettered, the newspaper reported. That is noteworthy because the total amount of savings funds fell in the 3rd quarter for the 1st time in four-and-a-half years.
Extremely low market interest rates spurred investors to search for higher yielding investments, such as investment funds or shares. However, in the 4th quarter, the decline in savings accounts was reversed.
It is being speculated that the announced tax on investment funds prompted investors to return to traditional savings accounts as they await greater certainty.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news