Romanians save less, they think interest rates on deposits are too low, they are poorly informed about the banking system and they are not aware of the role of the Bank Deposit Guarantee Fund (FGDB). These are some of the conclusions of the most recent GfK Romania study elaborated at the request of the Bank Deposit Guarantee Fund over October-November 2010.
More than half the total urban population (52 percent) who use banking products think the savings they put in a bank would be lost totally if the respective institution went bankrupt. Of the people who have savings, 29 percent consider they would lose their money if the respective bank failed, 39 percent think they would recover it partially and almost one third believe they would get their money back in full. Furthermore, the GfK study shows that only 6 percent of the people who think they can recover their savings if a bank fails know the Bank Deposit Guarantee Fund is the institution that will return their saved money, while more than a quarter of respondents consider the failed bank will give them back their savings in case of bankruptcy. A similar percentage of people say they have no idea where they would get their money back.
“These indicators are extremely important as they point to the fact that a low level of public information about the banking system and the role of the Bank Deposit Guarantee Fund can influence savings-related decisions”, explains FGDB Director Eugen Dijmarescu. “The new European regulations on deposit guarantee schemes such as the rise in the guarantee ceiling to 100,000 euros starting January 1, 2011 and the decrease of the number of days towards the start of payoffs in case of bank failure – are highly significant messages to all depositors across Europe. They strengthen people’s confidence that they will not lose the money they put in the bank even in times of crisis“, the FGDB Director points out.
Of all Romanians aged 18 and over, living in urban areas and using banking products, 16 percent have savings in the bank. According to the GfK Romania study, people in the Ardeal region save more than those in the Muntenia region – 27 percent as compared with 14 percent.
The same report shows that the savings and investment instruments most frequently employed include savings accounts, term deposits and current accounts, as well as cash (28 percent), seen as a safe and familiar method.
One third less people saved money in 2010 as compared with 2009 as lower income and higher expenses capped the savings drive. A quarter of the people who saved money in 2010 plans to set aside more money in 2011 either because they are concerned about their future or because they expect their incomes to go up. Thirteen percent of those who did not set money aside in 2010 plan to save in 2011.