Monday 18 December 2017

Savers now getting negative return from some accounts

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

DEPOSIT rates fell for the seventh month in a row in November as banks have become less reliant on savers to fund their activities.

And the interest rates being paid to those who need ready access to their money are now so low that any returns are being absorbed by inflation and tax on interest of 33pc.

Savers are now getting a negative return for keeping money in demand deposit accounts, experts said.

The interest paid on money that can be accessed at short notice is now 1.5pc, on average, according to the latest survey from the Central Bank on retail interest rates.

This is down from an average of 2.33pc since the beginning of 2012.

The interest on term deposits, where the money cannot be accessed immediately, has fallen to 3.24pc on average.

Inflation is running at 1.3pc, with DIRT (deposit interest retention tax) at 33pc since the start of this year.

AIB, EBS, KBC Bank, Nationwide (UK) Ireland, Ulster Bank and RaboDirect are among those that have announced in the past few weeks that they will pay less to savers.

Simon Moynihan of price comparison site said a domino effect was taking hold, with banks now following each other to cut deposit interest rates.

Most deposit-taking institutions have been reducing rates since last summer, as they are now less reliant on the nest eggs of households to finance their day-to-day activities.

There is some €87bn in household savings, with another €15bn in state savings schemes sold by An Post.

In addition, around 400 credit unions take savings, but many of these are paying no dividend or a very low one.

Mr Moynihan said savers should avoid getting caught out by rate cuts by moving their money within the bank to avail of a better return, or to another institution.

Irish Independent

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