Banking market leader BNP Paribas Fortis announced on Monday that the maximum authorised amount of the regulated savings account will be capped at €250,000 from 1 April next year, compared to the current unlimited amount, reports Belga News Agency.
“If the amount of the savings account exceeds 250,000 euros at the end of the accounting day, the amount that exceeds the maximum authorised balance will be made available on another account (deposit account) that already exists,” the bank said.
If no such account exists, the bank will open one for the circumstance “that has the same management parameters as the classic regulated savings account at the origin of the transfer.”
The deposit account to which the amount exceeding the authorised threshold is made available will then bear a zero credit interest rate (0%).
Losing by saving
According to the bank, for 99% of its customers, the measure will have no impact.
Household savings in Belgium have fallen since the start of the pandemic, with the lowest value since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic occurring in the third quarter of 2021.
The main reason for the decrease is the fact that the expenditure of people living in the eurozone increased by 5.8%, while the gross disposable income of households increased more slowly at 0.8%.
In Belgium, people continue to use savings accounts to “grow” their money despite historically low interest rates. Because the inflation rate in Belgium is much higher than the interest rates on savings accounts, and energy prices are soaring, people in the country actually lost money by keeping it in a savings account.