BA-CA Savings Barometer:
For the first time saving for retirement becomes the Number 1 reason for saving in Austria

  • World Savings Day: 2 million Austrians expected in the banks on 31 October
  • Each Austrian saves EUR 183 every month
  • Capital guaranty is the most important savings aspect for Austrian savers

For the first time, saving for retirement has become the Number 1 reason for Austrians' saving. Saving for retirement and the future was cited by 76.4% of all those asked about their reasons for saving and investing. 76% of all Austrians save to have "something put by for emergencies". "Children" was the third most frequently cited reason, with 63% of the population marking this answer. These results were obtained from the BA-CA Savings Barometer, a representative survey conducted by the market research institute FESSEL-GfK on behalf of Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA).

"The majority of Austrians have already recognised the dangers of the pension gap. In recent years, saving for retirement has become an important reason for people investing", says BA-CA Managing Board member Werner Kretschmer, head of Asset Management & Private Banking. "However", the investment expert continues, "the survey shows that some 1.8 million Austrians have not made any provision for their retirement yet."

2 million Austrians wish to visit their banks on 31 October
According to their own statements, 19% of Austrians will "definitely" visit their bank branch on this year's 81st World Saving Day. 6% "have resolved to do so". This equates to around 2 million Austrians, which is 400,000 more than in the previous year anyway. Accompanying children or grandchildren as well as "tradition" is cited as the most frequent reason (by 24%). 22% go for the gifts and 11% have resolved to "cultivate personal contact with their bank" or engage in some "networking" on World Saving Day.

Each Austrian saves EUR 183 every month
In any case Austrians save their money enthusiastically. Statistically speaking, each and every Austrian, from infants to grandparents, will save EUR 183 per month (1)  in 2006“, says BA-CA economist Stefan Bruckbauer. This represents a savings rate of 11.7% of net income, and is EUR 6 higher than in the previous year. The BA-CA economists have therefore revised the forecast downwards slightly compared with the July survey. In 2005, the figures were EUR 177 and 11.7% respectively.

The majority of Austrians' monthly savings of EUR 183 is placed in bank deposits (EUR 45 or 24%; this includes savings deposits, savings certificates and current accounts). EUR 43 (representing 25%) is invested in life insurance. EUR 32 or 17% of savings goes into funds. For statistical purposes, the category life insurance and funds also includes pension-related savings products.

The BA-CA Savings Barometer (which has now been conducted for the sixth time) also asked about criteria for investing. The most important aspect was a capital guaranty (26%), followed by quick access to savings (19%) and the stability of the company (15%).

"This comes as no surprise to us and merely confirms the current boom we're seeing in guaranty products", says Mr Kretschmer. In 2005, BA-CA sold a volume of about EUR 1 billion, an increase of 240% compared with 2004. Savings deposits, on the other hand, saw growth of around 3% to EUR 18.1 billion. As Mr Kretschmer notes, "Guaranty funds are increasingly replacing savings deposit accounts because they cover the satisfy customers' most important needs: guaranteed capital with excellent earnings potential “.

Savings deposit accounts continue to be the most favoured form of investment, but securities are catching up
Currently, 55% of those surveyed said they would invest EUR 1,000 in a savings deposit account. In 2005, this figure was only 49%. Securities are already in second place when it comes to the types of preferred savings products, as 18% of respondents would choose this option (up from 12% in 2005). Deposits with building societies, life insurance and real estate all lost ground compared with the previous year's results.
For higher amounts of savings (e.g. EUR 10,000) a similar change was observed: 34% of those surveyed in 2005 said that a savings deposit account was the best form of investment, compared with 38% in 2006. Again, securities came in second place with 32% favouring this form of savings in 2006 versus 25% in 2005). With regard to an on-going investment of EUR 100 per month, savings deposit accounts continue to be the most popular form of savings, followed by deposits with building societies and saving towards a pension.

BA-CA Savings Tips:
For amounts around EUR 1,000 BA-CA recommends a savings deposit account or savings certificate as the best option. It is currently offering the KünstlerSparbuch created by Oswald Oberhuber, which bears a fixed rate of interest of 3.5% for 19 months. For savings amounts of EUR 10,000, Austria's largest bank recommends investment in a guaranty bond or a guaranty fund. From November, it will offer a new issuDevelopment of financial savings in 2006 (excluding exchange rate changes); Source: OeNB, Statistik Austria, BA-CAe of its R.I.CH.-Garantie. For an on-going investment of around EUR 100 per month, a good option is the VorsorgePlus-Pension, a state-sponsored old-age savings plan offered by BA-CA. A future bonus of EUR 65 paid as an incentive to anybody investing in this product.

Did you know? World Savings Day is celebrating its 81st birthday in Austria this year
World Savings Day was initiated on 27 October 1924 at the 1st International Congress of Savings Banks in Milan – at a time in which saving had hit an all-time low after the dreadful experiences suffered during years of runaway inflation. It took place for the first time in Austria on 31 October 1925. By contrast, the concept of the piggy bank is far older. Excavations at Billeben in Northern Thuringia have revealed that the piggy bank first appeared in the 13th century. Sayings such as "happy as a pig" or the idea of a pig as a symbol of good luck also appeared in the middle ages.

The expression "to put something by" goes back to the middle ages too. "By" is used here to designate a space in the canopy of a four poster bed where rich people previously hid their savings. A secret compartment was often provided in one of the canopy's joists for this purpose.
(Source: www.wikipedia.de)

(1) Development of financial savings in 2006 (excluding exchange rate changes); Source: OeNB, Statistik Austria, BA-CA

Inquiries:    Bank Austria Creditanstalt Press Office Austria
Peter N. Thier, Tel. +43 (0)5 05 05 DW 52371;  
E-Mail: peter.thier@ba-ca.com