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People of Malaga province have more money than ever stashed away in the bank, a whopping 36.1 billion euros
Finance

People of Malaga province have more money than ever stashed away in the bank, a whopping 36.1 billion euros

Savings have continued to grow after the coronavirus pandemic, despite the sharp rise in inflation in Spain in recent years

Cristina Vallejo

Malaga

Monday, 24 June 2024, 12:07

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The people of Malaga province have more than 36.1 billion euros stashed away in the banks, new data shows. A similar figure was recorded at the close of 2023, with Malaga residents maintaining and adding to their accounts in the first quarter of 2024, according to data provided by the Bank of Spain..

36.1 billion euros

The amount Malaga people, including individuals, companies and public administrations, have saved away in the banks

People living in Malaga have never before had so much money in the bank, or so much of it over such a long period of time.

The trend is happening all over Spain: at no time since records started have more than 1.55 trillion euros been saved, which is what Spaniards accumulated at the end of last March in long-term deposits and easy-access accounts, a figure that beats that of Spanish GDP for the year 2023, (the figure representing the value of everything produced by the Spanish economy last year, 1.46 trillion euros.)

The Covid-19 pandemic was a plus for savings - but also a minus for consumption. The quarantine to curb the spread of Covid-19 and the subsequent restrictions made spending difficult, so people could hardly do anything but save. However, since the health crisis, Malaga residents have continued to increase their savings. In the past year, between March 2023 and the same month of 2024, the amount in accounts and deposits increased by more than 5%, according to the data..

The sharp rise in inflation in recent years has also not reduced peoples' capacity to save, the data shows.

37.75% Malaga residents' savings rise from 2019

In Spain, the increase is 20%, to 1.55 trillion today, which is more than the GDP in 2023

At the end of the first quarter of 2024, the people of Malaga had 37.75% more savings than in December 2019, that is, just before Covid-19, when they had just over 26.2 billion euros. On this figure, the province beats the country as a whole, since in Spain savings in accounts and long-term deposits at the end of March were 20% higher than the pre-pandemic figure (the 1.55 trillion in 2024 compared with the 1.29 in 2019).

Increase in population and more business

One factor that explains why savings in Malaga are growing more than at national level is an increasing population and more businesses setting up in the province, as the Bank of Spain’s statistics include savings not only of individuals but of businesses and public authorities.

Going back even further, the amount of money in Malaga banks today is 75% higher than the figure at the end of 2007 (20.6 billion), before the great financial crisis. In Spain, the increase over the same period is less than 40%.

Specifically, the savings of individuals and companies are mainly concentrated in current and easy-access savings accounts (around 30 billion), compared with 4.85 billion in long term deposits - the rest of the total bank savings in the province, totalling 36.1 billion, corresponds to money held by the public sector.

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86% The amount long term deposit balances grow in one year

It is almost four times the figure for 2022. But in the first quarter of 2024 it has suffered a slight drop, in view of the expected lowering of interest rates by the European Central Bank.

According to the data, the balance of Malaga province’s long term deposits at the end of March was 86% higher than 12 months earlier and almost four times the figure for March 2022, a sign they have found their remuneration somewhat more attractive in the heat of the interest rate rises undertaken by the European Central Bank to combat inflation. The people of Malaga have anticipated a foreseeable drop in the profitability of fixed-term deposits, with a 5% reduction in their savings, from just over 5.1 billion euros at the end of 2023 and 4.85 billion in March 2024.

What residents owe grows by 9% since 2019

While the people of Malaga have been increasing their savings in recent years, what they owe to financial institutions has grown. At the close of the first quarter of 2024, the amount of their debt to banks was 33.82 billion euros, a figure that has hardly changed compared to the close of 2023.

However, compared to pre-pandemic figures (December 2019), the debts of the province’s residents have increased by around 9%, similar to national figures.

Malaga savings have grown by 75% since 2007, but debts have since fallen by around 30%, which is also what has reduced the volume of loans granted by banks in Spain.

33.8 billion euros owed by the people of Malaga

This is less than their accumulated savings of 36.1 billion. In 2007, residents owed more than twice as much as they had saved.

In December 2007, Malaga residents’ debts to banks more than doubled what they had saved, the figures show. The 47.5 billion euros in loans contrasted with the almost 20.6 billion they had saved. Now they have more savings than debts: the 33.8 billion euros they owe compared with the just over 36.1 billion euros they have saved.

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