Neither the rise in interest rates nor the forecasts that the European Central Bank (ECB) will bring the official price of money up to 4% at the end of the year have helped the weighted average rate (the interest on new deposits) , published by the Bank of Spain, is transferred to the remuneration of household deposits. On the other hand, the banks are beginning to improve the remuneration of term products for companies, while penalizing those of families.
Thus, banks paid the deposits of non-financial companies with 1.66% in January, the latest data published by the Spanish supervisor, which represents an improvement of 3.75% compared to December, when it stood at 1 ,60% This interest practically tripled what banks paid to families, which closed the first month of the year at 0.59%. In just twelve months, entities have stopped charging companies for their deposits (-0.24%) to pay them almost 7 times more.
In fact, the remuneration of company deposits has been reflecting a positive evolution since the beginning of last year, which led it to break the 1% barrier in November 2022. With this new rise in the weighted average rate, interest received by companies for leaving their liquidity in banks are at the highest level since 2013. In that year, interest, according to data from the Bank of Spain, stood at 1.30%.
Regarding household deposits, the new interest rates stand at 0.59%, the same level as in November, but which represents a fall of 0.64% compared to December, that is, a month-on-month decrease almost 8% (specifically 7.81%). In this sense, banks are resisting making family savings profitable, despite the fact that there is interest in conservative products, as reflected in the demand of individuals for Treasury Bills. All in all, this interest is the highest at the end of 2014.
Estefanía González, Kelisto’s personal finance spokesperson, explains that this drop is probably due to “the majority of operations -and those monitored by the Bank of Spain- are bank operations with Spaniards and there we continue to see little movement (or almost zero )”. There has hardly been any news, except for the EBN Banco deposits or the launch, in recent weeks, of the Openbank deposit, which offers a return of 1.25% APR. In conclusion, progress is still slow or non-existent.
The key, the ease of deposits at 2%
The truth is that the banks are in no rush to improve the remuneration of fixed-term deposits, especially considering that the ECB has not only raised the price of money, but also the ease of deposit, that is, the interest that The European supervisor pays financial institutions for having the money placed in the body. Thus, in less than a year it has gone from -0.50% to 2%.
Industry sources explain that this has a positive effect on the banking business. And it is that we must not forget that families have almost one trillion euros in accounts and deposits, with an average remuneration of new operations of 0.59%, which means that if the bank placed that liquidity in the ECB it would be getting a benefit of almost 241 basis points, that is. In the case of company deposits, the margin is narrower. It must also be taken into account that the ECB will raise rates on March 16 and could place the deposit rate at 2.5%.
An exception will be remunerated accounts, where certain banks are offering returns of 2% (even 5% if the payroll is domiciled), although with limitations regarding the maximum amount to be remunerated, such as time. This is because these products allow them to win more and more “juicy” customers, says González. In addition, through these products it is possible to reach a greater volume of clients: the user has the perception that in order to take out a fixed-term deposit they must have larger savings.