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Australians stash an extra $124 billion in the bank in the year since COVID

Australians stash an extra $124 billion in the bank in the year since COVID

New figures out today from APRA show Australians have deposited an extra $124.14 billion in the bank since COVID hit.

APRA’s monthly banking statistics for March show a 12.43 per cent increase year-on-year in the total amount households have in deposits, which includes savings, term deposits, transaction and offset accounts.

Total amount from households in authorised deposit-taking institutions

Total amount (March 2021)Month-on-month change

(Feb v Mar)

Year-on-year change

(Mar 2020 v Mar 2021)

$1.123 trillion

$8.58 billion

(0.77%)

$124.14 billion

(12.43%)

Source: Household deposit data from APRA’s March monthly banking statistics released April 30, 2021. Includes all authorised deposit-taking institutions

RateCity research director, Sally Tindall, said the sharp boost in cash over the last 12 months came as no surprise as families prioritised their personal finances in the wake of COVID.

“COVID has been a financial wake-up call for many Australians,” she said

“Since the pandemic hit, many families have put their personal finances first, getting themselves into a stronger position so they can tackle future challenges.

“Months of lockdown living combined with rate cuts, tax cuts and initiatives such as the early access to super scheme have helped many families build a buffer

“Ironically, at the same time people have been stashing their cash, the interest rates offered on savings have plummeted.

“Banks are full to the brim with cash from households. As a result, they simply aren’t willing to pay anything more than peanuts in return,” she said.

RateCity data shows the highest ongoing savings rate at the start of COVID in March last year was 2.25 per cent. Today it is just 1.35 per cent – a drop of 0.90 per cent in 14 months.

“Most banks haven’t exactly been campaigning for more savings customers. If anything, they’ve been discouraging deposits by slashing bonus rates and tightening rules around extra interest. A handful of banks have even terminated some of their bonus rates altogether,” she said.

APRA total household deposits: Top 10 ADI’s

BankMarket ShareTotal deposits from householdsMonthly change (%) Year-on-year change ($)Year-on-year change (%)
CBA

27.29%

$306.51 B

1.21%

$37.33 B

13.87%

Westpac Group

20.79%

$233.46 B

0.52%

$16.00 B

7.36%

NAB

13.33%

$149.66 B

0.39%

$14.96 B

11.10%

ANZ Group

12.55%

$140.93 B

0.23%

$15.25 B

12.13%

ING

3.55%

$39.90 B

0.35%

$3.53 B

9.71%

Bendigo and Adelaide

3.13%

$35.10 B

1.29%

$4.79 B

15.79%

Suncorp

2.55%

$28.59 B

1.27%

$4.16 B

17.02%

Macquarie Bank

2.09%

$23.50 B

2.22%

$10.14 B

75.87%

Bank of Queensland

1.53%

$17.13 B

1.67%

$2.37 B

16.02%

HSBC Bank Australia

1.16%

$12.98 B

-2.04%

-$21 million

-0.16%

Source: Household deposit data from APRA’s March monthly banking statistics released April 30, 2021. Includes all authorised deposit-taking institutions.

Highest ongoing savings accounts

BankAccountMax rate
INGSavings Maximiser

1.35%

AMPSaver Account

1.25%

Virgin MoneyBoost Saver

1.20%

86 400Save Account

1.20%

Conditions apply for max interest rate

Highest standard savings rates

BankProductIntro rate (4 mths)Ongoing rate
Rabobank AustraliaHigh Interest Savings Account

1.50%

0.25%

Macquarie BankMacquarie Savings Account

1.10%

0.95%

CitiOnline Saver

1.10%

0.35%

Big four banks conditional savings rates

BankAccountMax rate

(if conditions met)

CBAGoalSaver

0.35%

WestpacLife

0.40%

NABReward Saver

0.30%

ANZProgress Saver

0.40%

Big four banks standard savings rates

BankAccountMax intro rate Ongoing rate
CBANetBank Saver (5 mths)

0.40%

0.05%

WestpaceSaver (5 mths)

0.40%

0.05%

NABiSaver (4 mths)

0.35%

0.05%

ANZOnline Saver (3 mths)

0.35%

0.05%

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This article was reviewed by Senior Finance Writer Liz Seatter before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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