This comparison of figures applies to all other deposits in the national currency, including on call deposits and time deposits. So, referring to the figures provided by the Bank of Albania, on call deposits at the end of 2017 amounted to 1.4 billion lek, while in 2015, this figure was 1.5 billion lek. On the other hand, there has also been a drop in the value of current accounts. According to the Bank of Albania, the value of current accounts at the end of last year was 136 billion lek, in 2016 they were 155 billion lek, while in 2015, they amounted to 193 billion lek. If we continue with the statistics provided by the central bank, we would see that all time deposits in lek, with maturities ranging from 1 month to 60 months, registered a fall.
According to experts, such phenomenon relates to a bigger need for cash by individuals. This also applies to businesses, which have withdrawn their bank deposits to meet their needs.
The same thing happening with deposits in the European currency
A fall is also being registered in the number of bank deposits in the European currency. So, referring to the data provided by the Bank of Albania, at the end of last year, their total value amounted to 678 million euros. This is a lower figure than 854 million euros in the same period the year before or 919 million euros in 2015. This comparison applies to all time deposits and on call deposits. As far as on call deposits are concerned, at the end of last year, they amounted to 14 million euros, as opposed to 15 million a year ago. The same logic also applies to current individual or business accounts. The figures that the central bank provides on them is 568 million euros at the end of last year, compared to 690 million euros for the same period a year ago or 724 million euros in 2015. Meanwhile, let us recall that last year, especially during the months prior to the elections, there has been an increase in the number of deposits in the European currency. Experts explained this by a “boom” of this currency in our country, which also originated from suspicious sources. This phenomenon grew smaller toward the end of the year.
Saving deposits in the European currency, Euro, have strongly competed in the recent years against saving deposits in the national currency, lek. According to the data provided by the Bank of Albania, these types of deposits have always moved in the same direction and they have managed to be beat the value of deposits in the US currency, dollar.
Low interest rates deter people from savings deposits
The low rates of interest seem to have become the main factors which have deterred Albanian individuals and businesses alike, from putting their money in bank deposits. Let us recall that the average interest rate on deposits in lek is currently at 1.25%, following several consecutive cuts that the Bank of Albania has made. This has had a direct effect and has led to a decline of interest rates on all types of deposits, in the national currency and foreign currency alike. This has also deterred Albanian individuals from the most traditional form of saving their money, namely, bank deposits. The latest figures provided by the Bank of Albania indicate that the stock of deposits at the end of November 2017 was 997.5 billion lek or 7.3 billion euros. Expressed as percentage of Gross Domestic Product for 2017, deposits account for 66.5% of GDP, while in previous years, this percentage was 70. This also seems to indicate a fall in the amount of bank deposits from one year to another.