Coronavirus pandemic: eurozone retail deposits remain stable

New research: European savers deposited €43 billion in March 2020, demonstrating the resilience of the Eurozone deposit market amidst the COVID-19 crisis

EUR 7’800 billion

was the total eurozone retail deposit volume in March 2020

> €40 billion

monthly inflows in 8 of the last 14 months

2008 and 2020

crises show similarities in savings behaviour of Germans

Eurozone deposit flows remained stable amidst the sudden economic shock of Coronavirus, with European savers transferring €43bn into their deposit accounts in March 2020. This marks the eighth month where net inflows exceeded €40 billion since February 2019, demonstrating the resilience of the European deposit market in crisis.

Further increase in the volume of deposits in the euro area in March 2020

In February 2020, total retail deposit volume in the eurozone was EUR 7,800 billion

In February 2020, the month before the Coronavirus crisis took hold in Central Europe, eurozone banks held 7,800 billion euros in retail deposits.
Germany accounted for the largest share with around 2,400 billion euros, followed by France (1,600 billion) and Italy (1,200 billion).
The deposit volume on European banks’ balance sheets grows steadily. In the past two years alone, the volume of deposits has increased by more than 750 billion euros.

In March 2020, retail deposit volume increased by EUR 43 billion

Citizens in eurozone countries reacted to the sudden economic shock in March by transferring more money to their deposit accounts. Overall, the volume in the European deposit market increased by a net 43 billion euros.

About half of this was accounted for by French savers, who alone deposited an additional 19 billion euros.  They were followed by Italy (+17 billion euros) and Spain (+10 billion euros).

Behaviour of German savers in 2008 and 2020 shows similarities

In both 2008 and 2020, Germany was the country with the highest deposit outflows. In both years’ prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and Coronavirus in 2020, deposit inflows had been declining.

However, after Lehman’s downfall marked the beginning of the financial crisis, the German deposit market re-bounded and savers shifted over EUR 70 billion back to their deposit accounts over the following three months.

Eurozone deposit market reacts differently in 2020 than in 2008

Unlike in Germany, there are significant differences between 2008 and 2020 in other eurozone countries. The Netherlands, France and Spain experienced cash outflows from deposit accounts in September 2008. However, in March 2020, all three countries were among the largest net depositors.

Furthermore, in the months prior to September 2008, eurozone net deposit inflows had already declined and reached their lowest point with the Lehman bankruptcy. In 2020, by contrast, deposit volume growth remained stable both before and when the crisis erupted in Europe.

About the analysis:

For the analysis “Resilience in crisis. Eurozone deposit flows: 2020 Coronavirus pandemic vs. 2008 financial crisis”, publicly available data from the European Central Bank was researched, analyzed and evaluated in order to determine the monthly change in retail deposit balances of banks in the eurozone between January 2008 and March 2020. Retail deposits are defined as deposits of all maturities of private households, for example checking accounts, savings books, call money or time deposits.