Deposits marked a significant increase in 2020, which has accelerated especially during the pandemic period.
The savings stock in the country reached 1.11 trillion lek, or almost 9 billion euros, which is the highest level ever recorded after the '90s. Compared to the previous year, deposits expanded by 8.2%. This is the highest increase since 2011.
The upward trend in deposits has been observed across Europe, where uncertainty about the future and the inability to spend after travel restrictions have encouraged consumers to save more.
Compared to February, which coincides with the period before the pandemic, savings in banks have increased by about ALL 70 billion, or about EUR 570 million.
Unlike previous years, when the growth of deposits was driven by foreign currency, while savings in lek were weak(as a result of falling interest rates from 2012), in the pandemic period savings were oriented in lek. Domestic currency deposits increased by 11% in 2020, affecting about 60% growth. This is an indirect indication that deposits are driven mostly by domestic savings. In absolute terms, the increase in lek deposits (by about ALL 51 billion) marked the highest level since 2007, when the Bank of Albania reported the data.
Both local and individual corporate savings have increased in local currency, but over 90% of the money has been deposited in current accounts, mainly due to the low interest rates offered for long-term savings.
Foreign currency deposits also performed well, growing by 6% in 2020 on an annual basis. Their growth has followed seasonal trends, in August and December, in line with emigrant inflows.
For the currency, the increase was due to the increase in the placement of money in current accounts, both by businesses and individuals.
The fastest growth of lek deposits has made savings in local currency at the end of 2020 occupy 46.5% of the total, from 45.5% at the end of 2019.