Economy

Current accounts, higher interest rates do not appear on the proceeds. Punishment of historical clients

The impact of a rate hike in the eurozone is not being felt on the current account bonuses in Italy. According to the latest ABI report, in October, the average interest rate on deposits (current accounts, savings deposits and certificates of deposit) was 0.37% compared to 0.34% in the previous month. In this context, it is also worth noting the halt in deposit growth.

slowdown in deposits

Indeed, in October, funds on deposits in Italy amounted to €1,835 billion, with a constant (+0.1%) change year-on-year. It is the first time in 12 months that trend divergence has disappeared. Deposits are well below the July peak of 1,873. These values ​​are still much higher than what was recorded three years ago (1565 billion) before the outbreak of the pandemic, but something seems to have changed in the behavior of Italians in recent months. Inflation is likely to be felt and reduce real availability among Italian citizens.

Not only are returns on average accounts tight, but there’s always the pain point of costs affecting checking accounts, especially for traditional accounts. The latest report by the Bank of Italy depicts an increasing trend in annual current account expenditures, but above all there is no indication of a diminishing phenomenon of penalizing the most loyal users: in practice, the longer the duration of a traditional bank account, the higher the average costs. For example, a customer who has opened an account for more than 10 years spends an average of 113 euros (between fixed and variable costs) compared to 64 for a customer who opened an account for a year. We’re talking about overall costs that have almost halved. A position that may seem paradoxical.

Current accounts cost node

What do you do against expensive bills

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«Once again – explains Carlo Piarolli, Director of National Credit at Adiconsum – from Bankitalia’s report on current accounts, the unfortunate phenomenon appears where customers who are more loyal to the bank are penalized in terms of costs compared to new customers. I understand that banks always have to find new ways to be more attractive, but what ultimately shows is the turnover of regular customers who move between institutions.” Moreover, mobility on this front is rare. According to an Altroconsumo survey, 8 out of All 10 have completed their accounts in the past 5 years.It is also estimated that between 12-15% of citizens in Italy do not have a checking account.

“What we suggest to the most loyal consumers – continues Piarulli – is to always check the fees that affect the accounts. If you notice unusual costs or unsustainable increases, it’s always important to go to your help desk and ask for your conditions to be renegotiated, especially if the client has a long-standing relationship and the costs are out of proportion to new clients. If the customer is not satisfied, he can always change banks and the institutions are obliged to make the switch within 12 working days. It is good for consumers to be dynamic on this front and banks to provide themselves with more competitive offers so as not to lose customers ».

Thelma Binder

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