Dutch savers double their money in foreign bank accounts

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Dutch savers have doubled their money in foreign bank accounts over the past two years, according to new figures from the Dutch central bank.

By the end of September, the Dutch had placed €10.5 billion with banks in other EU countries, compared with €5.6 billion two years ago.

German banks have attracted €2.3 billion in Dutch savers’ money while €1.5 billion has gone to both Spain and Estonia. In the last few months, banks in the Baltic states, Italy and Greece have attracted a notable amount of Dutch money, the central bank said. 

Despite the increase, the money in foreign banks only accounts for 1.8% of all Dutch savings, which totalled €567 billion by the end of the third quarter.  

Dutch banks have been under fire for not putting up their interest rates on savings, while at the same time making record profits. 

The Dutch consumer authority ACM said in October it is starting an investigation into why the interest paid on savings by the big Dutch banks is so low.

In some EU countries the rate is double the maximum of 1.5% which, for example, ABN Amro and ING were paying at the time. The ACM said it is going to assess whether there is enough competition on the Dutch savings market.

Online banks, such as Bunq, do offer far higher rates as do some foreign banks with operations in the Netherlands. But consumers appear to be reluctant to switch to better payers and the ACM says it wants to know why this is.

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