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Germans shun deposits abroad on fear of new crisis

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Francesco Canepa
Thursday, March 30, 2023

FRANKFURT, Germany -- German savers are getting cold feet about deposits held abroad despite juicier interest rates for fear of getting embroiled in a crisis like the one that hit Silicon Valley Bank, data compiled for Reuters shows.

German households, who have Europe's deepest pockets with 2 trillion euros held in cash, had been seeking higher returns on their cash by opening deposits online at small banks in weaker economies such as Lithuania, Malta, Italy, and Portugal.

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But that trend turned suddenly on March 10, when the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank sparked turmoil in the banking sector, according to data provided by two German comparison websites.

Demand for foreign deposits with a fixed maturity dropped by 15-20% since March 10 compared to February, according to data from online platforms Check24 and Biallo, which work with banks to market these and other products.

By contrast, German banks, which are perceived as safer because of their government's high credit rating and two separate safety nets on deposits, saw an increase in demand, both platforms said. ...

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