We continue to put away more and more money for very little gain...
Irish savers are paid the lowest interest rates on their deposits across all 18 eurozone countries, according to figures published by the European Central Bank.
In March, the eurozone average rate paid on new fixed-rate deposits was 0.42%, whereas it was as low as 0.1% in Ireland.
That means Irish savers were receiving €10 annually for every €10,000 deposited, as opposed to the €42 earned by the average European – over four times the difference.
That was also before deposit interest retention tax (DIRT) of 39% (down from 41% since January) is factored in, further reducing the amount earned.
The highest average deposit rate is currently in Slovenia, where you’ll get 1.79% – €179 for every €10,000 saved.
The Netherlands had a similarly high rate of 1.45%.
Spain was the closest to Ireland in the low payout stakes, with a rate of 0.11%, while Slovenia offered 0.18%.
Despite the disadvantage Irish savers are at, we continue to place more and more money on deposit. We are now saving more than we were in the aftermath of the banking crisis, when deposit rates were higher than 3%.
The amount saved rose by some €540 million in March, bringing the total to €98 billion.
That is the highest figure since the depths of the recession in April 2010.
The vast bulk of this money – about 75% – is on the lowest level overnight deposit rates, which are sometimes just above 0%.