Savings Deposits in Austria – A Safety Net in Times of Crisis
Households, financial intermediaries and ultimately even businesses all rely on savings deposits. On the one hand, savings deposits constitute a central pillar of precautionary saving; they play an important role in individual saving for old age and provide a financial buffer against unexpected events. On the other hand, they provide the bedrock of funding for the banking system and thus help maintain the flow of credit from banks to businesses. This paper draws on a unique data set compiled by the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB), which covers all savings accounts that domestic nonbanks held with banks reporting to the OeNB in the review period. We are thus able to analyze the changes in the total volume of deposits and their distribution across different categories of size in the period from 2002 to 2011. Against this backdrop we highlight how the relative significance of smaller and larger accounts changed before and during the financial crisis, and we discuss what role the deposit insurance system as well as savings plans with building and loan associations played in this context. On balance, we find the share of savings deposits in households’ total financial wealth to have remained broadly stable; the allocation of funds to the individual categories was subject to visible changes, however.
Volume (Year): (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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