Entrepreneurs avoiding negative interest by opening multiple bank accounts
Smaller entrepreneurs in the Netherlands are trying to avoid negative interest on savings by opening new accounts with different banks, Financieele Dagblad reported after speaking to Dutch banks. Various banks introduced negative interest rates on larger savings accounts over the past year
At most banks, savings accounts with balances above 100 thousand euros are charged negative interest. This means the account holder pays interest on their savings, instead of earning interest. For someone with 200 thousand euros in the bank, this could mean paying 500 euros in interest at the end of the year. To prevent this, entrepreneurs are now spreading their money over different accounts at different banks.
ING told FD that it saw an increase of 20 percent in new business account applications this year, compared to 2020. De Volkskbank, the company behind SNS and ASN, said it noticed a significant group of customers who only want to open savings accounts, and the waiting time for a new account has increased. Only Rabobank said it didn't notice this trend, though the bank did note a slight increase in queries about opening business accounts.
The negative interest is a result of European Central Bank policy to keep interest rates low over the past years, in an attempt to stimulate the economy. The ECB charges negative interest for banks that deposit money with the central bank, and the banks say they have no choice but to pass that on to customers.