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Savings Deposits in Austria – A Safety Net in Times of Crisis


  • Michael Andreasch

    () (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, External Statistics, Financial Accounts and Monetary and Financial Statistics)

  • Pirmin Fessler

    () (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Economic Analysis Division)

  • Martin Schürz

    () (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Economic Analysis Division)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Andreasch & Pirmin Fessler & Martin Schürz, 2012. "Savings Deposits in Austria – A Safety Net in Times of Crisis," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 2, pages 81-95.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbmp:y:2012:i:2:b:4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ashoka Mody & Franziska Ohnsorge & Damiano Sandri, 2012. "Precautionary Savings in the Great Recession," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 60(1), pages 114-138, April.
    2. Michael Andreasch & Pirmin Fessler, 2009. "Austrian Households’ Equity Capital – Evidence from Microdata," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 61-78.
    3. Pirmin Fessler & Martin Schürz, 2008. "Stock Holdings in Austria," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 2, pages 83-100.
    4. Gary Gorton & Stefan Lewellen & Andrew Metrick, 2012. "The Safe-Asset Share," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 101-106, May.
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    More about this item


    deposits; safe assets; deposit insurance; Austria; financial stability;

    JEL classification:

    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H81 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Governmental Loans; Loan Guarantees; Credits; Grants; Bailouts


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