2021: Record year for household deposits with local banks

Central Bank data indicate that at the end of 2021 the amount of deposits held with local banks of Maltese and Gozitan households reached a record high of €15.4 billion. This means that during 2021 households increased their savings held in local banks by more than €1.1 billion, or an average of almost €100 million per month.

This was the greatest increase ever in the history of our country. The rise observed in 2021 was even slightly larger than that observed in 2020, which at the time had been described as exceptional by local analysts.

It should be noted that in 2009 household deposits had fallen by €48 million. At that time faced with an economic crisis a Conservative Government had adopted an austerity policy by increasing substantially the price of electricity and fuel. 

Last year, families saved more than they had saved during the whole legislature led by the Nationalist Party between March 2008 and March 2013. In a pandemic year, the financial assets of households increased fivefold more than they would have increased under a Nationalist administration that faced no such challenges.

The annual average increase in household bank deposits is more than double the amount that the Maltese and Gozitan families had saved before the change of government in 2013. Moreover, since Robert Abela became Prime Minister, deposits have increased by €2.3 billion, or an average of more than €1.1 billion per year. In previous years under a different Labour administration, the annual increase in savings with banks was less than €0.8 billion or almost 50% lower.

It was not just families who saw their deposits improve in 2021. The deposits of businesses have also reached a record high, standing at €3.9 billion by the end of December 2021. This meant an increase of almost half a billion euros over the relative 2020 level.

In contrast in the 2008 economic crisis, the austerity of the Conservative administration had contributed towards the €60 million deposits decline registered by businesses. In fact, in the two years since Robert Abela has been Prime Minister, despite the pandemic, businesses have increased their deposits with banks by more than they had increased them in the whole legislature between March 2008 and March 2013.

The Central Bank’s data also indicate that even Government and its entities have managed to increase their deposits despite the large pandemic stimulus. In fact, at the end of December 2021, the public sector had €773 million deposited with banks, whereas in 2019 it had only €529 million. Moreover, this is three and a half times the amount of deposits with banks held by the public sector before the change in Government in March 2013. And yet, Opposition spokespersons claim that Government has lost all financial control.

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