Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra has called on Dutch banks to reduce the interest rates they charge on overdraft payments in a new move designed to financially support consumers in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. In an interview, Hoekstra told De Telegraaf newspaper that supporting people “is evidently about reducing those percentages,” which are currently “very substantial.”
Rabobank customers with more than 1 million euros in their savings accounts will soon have to pay to keep their money in the bank. The bank is implementing a savings interest rate of -0.5 percent on savings accounts with more than a million euros as of July 1st or private customers, and as of May 1st for business customers, RTL Nieuws reports.
Households in the Netherlands have a total of 368 billion euros in savings built up, 12 billion euro more than a year ago, the Dutch central bank DNB announced on Wednesday, De Telegraaf reports.
Banking institution ING has become the second bank in the Netherlands to charge a negative interest rate on certain savings accounts. Customers will face a -0.50 percent interest rate for any amount in an account above one million euros, the bank said on Friday.
The policy will affect about 6,400 current clients. The negative rate is charged per account, and not per customer.
One in seven households in the Netherlands is unable to raise 2 thousand euros within a month if an unexpected financial setback occurs, according to a study by Dutch central bank DNB. "This means that although the Dutch are generally known as a saving kind of people, about one million Dutch families are in a financially vulnerable position," the regulator said, AD reports.
ABN Amro is lowering the interest rate on its savings accounts to 0 percent as of April 1st. Customers with more than 2.5 million euros in their saving accounts will face negative interest. The bank is the first of the large banks in the Netherlands to take this step, NU.nl reports.
ABN Amro will not implement negative interest on savings accounts with less than 100 thousand euros in them, the bank promised. The bank's interest rate on savings currently stands at 0.01 percent. It can, theoretically, still drop for zero. But most customers will not have to pay to keep their savings at ABN Amro, NOS reports.
ABN Amro is lowering the interest on its freely withdrawable savings accounts from 0.02 percent to 0.01 percent as of November 1st, the bank said on its website on Friday. Savings interest at ING is still 0.02 percent and at Rabobank 0.03 percent, NU.nl reports
Dutch between the ages of 20 and 45 who rent a home in the free sector, pay so much on housing costs that they can't afford to build up savings, Rabobank researchers Nic Vrieselaar and Carlijn Prins concluded after surveying over 10 thousand customers that fall in this group, AD reports.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance does not want to outright ban a negative interest rate on savings. Such a "hard ban" would be a "very significant intervention in the market" which can have negative effects, he said in response to parliamentary questions from the CDA and PvdA, NU.nl reports.
Dutch consumers will start paying interest on their savings accounts in the near future, various analysts told Financieele Dagblad. They describe negative interest rates on savings as an unavoidable future.
The cash that Dutch banks keep and are required to deposit at the European Central Bank currently costs them more than half a billion euros per year, due to the negative deposit interest rate. "Dutch banks together have 138 billion euros in surplus liquidity, and they pay 0.4 percent on that", Elwin de Groot of Rabobank said to FD.
ING customers are furious by the prospect of their bank maybe charging negative interest on their savings accounts. CEO Ralph Hamers mentioned this as an option to cushion the blow should the European Central Bank decide to cut interest rates again, RTL Z reports.
Most Dutch people are not building sufficient financial buffers for a financially healthy future, Rabobank concludes based on a study by Nibud. Only two in five Dutch put money aside for training, income decreases, pensions, or healthcare, ANP reports.
Nibud questioned 2 thousand people for this study. Nearly half of respondents indicated that they are concerned about money matters in the future, yet most do nothing about it. Around a third don't have the money to set aside. But of the two thirds who do have financial room to set money aside, only 39 percent actually do so.
More than half of Dutch students loan more money from educational services department DUO than they need for their studies, according to a study Nibud published on Friday. Of these students, half loaned more money to save up for when they are done studying. The low interest rates on student loans is one reason for doing so, according to the researchers, NU.nl reports.
The number of vacation homes sold in the Netherlands increased by 20 percent last year, according to data the Dutch association of realtors NVM released on Monday. In 2015 the the number of holiday homes sold doubled, NU.nl reports.
According to NVM, the continuing trend can be attributed to the low interest rates. As savings yield hardly anything at the moment, more people choose to invest their money into a second home.
About 70 percent of people in the Netherlands who have problems paying their bills have little to no savings, according to a study by the national institute for budget information Nibud. Having savings is one of the most crucial ways to prevent payment problems, the institute says in its report. The level of income does not seem to be influence money problems, ANP reports.
Nibud urges people to make sure they have a bufer of savings. Set aside 10 percent of monthly income, the institute advices. Currently only 40 percent of households save a fixed amount every month.
Dutch bank ING saw its net profits increase to 1.35 billion euros in the third quarter, an increase of 27 percent compared to the same quarter last year. The bank's total income rose by 9 percent to 4.4 billion euros, ING announced on Thursday, ANP reports.
ING granted more loans to consumers and businesses and took in more savings. ING's loans increased by 3.6 billion euros and on balance attracted 2 billion euros in savings. Despite the low interest rates, the bank got "healthy" margins on its loans.
Dutch people find it "scary" to invest money in stock and bonds. Nearly 60 percent of Dutch see investing as gambling, according to a international survey by asset manager BlackRock among over 31 thousand people in 20 countries
The recovering Dutch economy is good news for Rabobank. In the first half of this year the bank booked a profit of 1.5 billion euros, an increase of 41 percent compared to last year.
Banks charge a too high interest rate for tens of thousands of homeowners who have a savings mortgage, because they do not take the savings that homeowners build up for repaying the mortgage into account.
Capital gains tax, the tax on savings and investment, will be decreasing for small savers and increasing for large investments. According to the PvdA, an agreement has been reached with coalition partner VVD on this, but the VVD denies that there is any such agreement, NOS reports
Cuts to items covered under the mandatory basic health insurance package is saving the country less money than expected, reports the Netherlands Court of Audit. Between 2007 and 2013, roughly 250 million euro was saved through the cuts, about half the amount the cabinet predicted under former Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.
ABN Amro and ING announced a decrease in their savings account interest rates on Friday. The Dutch banks will both drop their rate from one percent to 0.9 percent in the last week of April.
PostNL package carriers feel exploited for having to invest significant amounts of their own money in their work and getting paid too little for being only part-time independent contractors, Volkskrant writes. One of the carriers is suing PostNL in pursuit of lost wages.