of Valeria Panigada
From Fineco to UniCredit, banks have begun to apply some unilateral changes to contracts to discourage customers from leaving liquidity in their checking account. And if so far the measures have concerned only some institutes and customers with inventories exceeding 100 thousand euros (mainly corporate customers), it is not certain that in the future they may extend to a wider audience of savers. So how to protect yourself?
What’s happening, the banks’ anti-accumulation initiatives
Italians are big savers. It is estimated that there are over 1,745 billion euros set aside in Italian current accounts and removed from circulation. A booty that continues to grow, especially following the Covid emergency. Before the pandemic, in February 2020, estimates indicate that around 200 billion fewer were deposited on the accounts than in 2021.
To discourage account holders with high liquidity in the account, banks are activating a series of measures. See Fineco, which in recent weeks announced the closure of accounts with deposits exceeding 100 thousand euros in the absence of a securities portfolio or form of investment, which was followed by UniCredit which has decided to spread the higher costs on all current account holders with a My Genius account, raising the monthly fee by about 70%.
Among the other options considered by the banks to dissuade companies from monstrous deposits is the renegotiation of contractual conditions in the event of excessive stock. Also noteworthy is a system of commissions proportionate to stocks, which can reach 1,000 euros every three months for “piggy banks” exceeding 1 million euros.
“It is essential that account holders fully understand that too much liquidity in the current account today represents a problem for everyone – he says Paolo Benazzi, General Manager SOStariffe.it – For the saver, because the money in the account will inevitably tend to be eroded over time by inflation, and for the bank, because that blocked money is a cost in light of the negative rates typical of an expansive monetary policy of the ECB. Without forgetting the whole economic system, which is burdened by almost 1,800 billion euros immobilized, completely unable to create value ”.
How to keep your nest egg safe from risks, especially if it is large
The choice of keeping a large sum of money immobile in the checking account is increasingly expensive and unsustainable for consumers. A good idea to prevent savings from going up in smoke, according to the analysis of SOSTariffe.it, is to contact the bank and evaluate short or long-term investment solutions. Invest some of the excess liquidity in low-risk financial products, for example, it can be useful not to let it be ‘attacked’ by inflation and the commissions that the bank itself may be forced to impose, precisely by virtue of negative interest rates.
If your credit institution does not offer convincing solutions, you can always turn to another bank or consider investing the money independently in another way. Those who do not like investments, on the other hand, can move their savings into a deposit account. Alternatively, the sums can be moved to an account without commission on liquidity, in whole or only for the part of money in excess of the limit imposed by the bank.
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