According to the Central Bank, the net wealth of Irish households was €100 million more in mid-2021 than it was in mid-2020. Why? Mainly because of rising house prices – the roost really does rule.
But it’s also because share prices are generally on the up and – of course – spending has been more limited due to lockdown restrictions. We simply haven’t had the ability to spend, and that’s meant we’ve been saving more. While that may only be temporary as restrictions are lifted, current net wealth is €935 million and will exceed €1 trillion in 2022 if it keeps increasing on the same trajectory.
Of course, these figures only paint a general picture – this may not be the experience of many Irish households as what the figures don’t show is how this wealth is distributed.
But the fact remains that gross household savings are higher than they were before the pandemic, which can only be a good thing, especially in times of uncertainty. As of September 2021, Ireland’s savvy savers set a record of €135 billion in savings.
And that doesn’t take into account savers who deposit cash into overseas savings accounts, which can make your money work harder for you. While Irish savers can currently choose from an average 0.037% interest rate on a one year term deposit or 0.06% average on a three year term, there are better rates to be had. Raisin Bank, for example, helps Irish savers access more competitive rates from providers across Europe, and currently offers one year terms with interest rates at 0.56% and three year terms at 1.05%.
And if you have a savings account with Ulster Bank, there’s another reason to save elsewhere, since the announcement that the bank is pulling out of Ireland and has given its customers until mid-2022 to close their accounts.
This obviously impacts more than savings accounts, so what are your options if you’re an Ulster Bank customer? Firstly, it’s important to start shopping around soon, as you probably don’t want to lose access to everyday banking. As an Ulster Bank spokesperson said: “We strongly encourage customers not to leave it until the last minute to avoid possible bottlenecks of account opening activity in the second half of 2022.”
If you hold a current account, you have a number of options available to you. Don’t forget to check the fees and charges at each provider, so you get the account that suits you best.
If you have an Ulster Bank savings account, your money is protected up to €100,000 per person, or €200,000 for a joint account. Again, shopping around is important as you’ll be able to find the most competitive interest rates, and as we noted above, it may be worth looking to Europe to maximise your deposits. If you have a lump sum tied up in a current account, now might be a good time to make the most of it by putting it into a higher interest rate deposit account.
To find out more and access competitive interest rates from across Europe, visit Raisin Bank