Dutch banks near 0% interest on savings accounts

Dutch bank ING is lowering its interest on freely available savings accounts to 0.3 percent. And with that all three large Dutch banks are closer to a 0 percent interest rates on savings accounts than 1 percent, Z24 reports.

As of September 1st ING is lowering its interest rates on the most common savings account from 0.4 percent to 0.3 percent, according to a letter the bank sent to its customers The letter states that this decrease is "partly due to the current low market interest", the Financieele Dagblad reported on Monday.

Interest on the equivalent savings account at Rabobank is now 0.3 percent and on the Rabo Internet Savings accounts it is 0.4 percent. At ABN Amro the interest rate on the Direct Savings accounts is at 0.4 percent.

The low interest rates are mainly attributable to the European Central Bank's cheap-money policy. Loans at the ECB are practically free, but banks have to pay the central bank if they wish to park their own savings there, according to Z24. In March ECB lowered the deposit interest rate from -0.3 percent to -0.4 percent.

ABN Amro CEO Gerrit Zalm already expressed his concerns about the ECB's negative-interest policy, saying that the low interest rate policy does more harm than good. It results in banks suffering in their business model, and the policy's purpose of boosting economic growth is no longer applicable. "If we were in a deep recession, I would have understood, but the European economy is growing", he said in April. ABN Amro recently informed its business clients that the future may hold a negative interest rate on savings.