Dutch banks offer more attractive interest rates in Germany than in NL
Banks operating in the Netherlands often offer substantially higher interest rates to savers in Germany compared to those in the Netherlands. This was reported by the financial comparison website Geld.nl, which based its information on its own data. For instance, while ING's Dutch customers receive a 1.25 percent interest rate on their savings accounts, new customers in Germany enjoy a 3.5 percent interest rate.
Geld.nl conducted a study on 14 banks where Dutch savers can open a savings account, comparing the interest rates available in the Netherlands with those in Belgium and Germany. The findings revealed that German savers frequently receive much higher interest rates than their Dutch counterparts. According to Geld.nl expert Amanda Bulthuis, these disparities in interest rates are justifiable.
Bulthuis explained that the competition among savings banks is fiercer in Germany, where a larger number of them operate compared to the Netherlands. As a result, these banks have to work harder to attract customers by offering higher interest rates. New customers in Germany are typically offered significantly higher interest rates than existing customers for the first few months, encouraging customers to frequently switch between savings banks in Germany to take advantage of these rates.
Richard Leijnse, the managing director at NIBC bank, explained that Dutch banks tend to offer higher interest rates abroad as a strategy to attract more savers. "In the Netherlands, we are a Dutch bank, but in Germany, we are perceived as a foreign bank. Just as Dutch savers are hesitant to deposit their savings with a foreign bank, the same is true for German savers," Leijnse said. He also acknowledged that the immense competition plays a role in determining the interest rates.
The study also revealed that the interest rates in Belgium are considerably lower than in the Netherlands. According to Geld.nl, the base interest rate offered to savers by banks like ING, bunq, and Triodos Bank is over half less than what Dutch savers receive at these banks. Although many Belgian savings accounts offer a type of bonus interest for deposits maintained for a year, it often still results in a lower cumulative interest rate compared to what Dutch savers receive. This has attracted substantial criticism from Belgian savers and the government towards savings banks operating in Belgium.
Reporting by ANP