Spanish bankers have been insisting for about a year and a half that they do not remunerate deposits because there are much more profitable alternatives for savings. Since Christine Lagarde began what is now the new era of interest rates in the euro zone, back in July of last year, her crusade has focused on redirecting its clients’ money towards investment funds, mainly fixed income, which are those that benefit from rising rates with a more equal risk (although they never guarantee the invested capital) to the reviled deposits. And the figures show that they are achieving it.
In one year and three months, from June 2022, lhe nine largest banks in the country, listed and not, add up to nearly 34,000 million euros in assets under management of investment funds and pension plans. This is 8% more. Even so, it has not been reflected in the commissions, since the best-selling products are the aforementioned fixed income funds, which apply a lower average cost because, theoretically, the management is also lower.
Together, the nine banks have crossed the barrier of 500 billion euros of funds and plans under management, which represents a third of all its clients’ resources and in commissions they reach the figure of 36% of the total. Banks like CaixaBank and BBVA already have more than double and almost triple the amount of money in funds alone (about 180,000 million euros) compared to the 70,000 million they hold in time deposits.
The ranking continues to be led by CaixaBankwith more than 155,000 million managed between both items, which represents a growth of 7% compared to what it had in its portfolio before the first rate increase carried out by the European Central Bank (ECB). This figure represents three times more than the money that its clients have deposited on time, with just over 45.7 billion euros. The entity run by Gonzalo Gortázar has been the only major company to date to launch a 1% term deposit conditional on obtaining another additional 1% by taking out other products such as home or health insurance. However, CaixaBank’s deposit is far from the current commercial offer, led by small players, since, according to data from the Bank of Spain, new deposits are being granted at an average rate of 2.33%.
Santander Bank is accelerating its strategy of giving more and more weight to portfolio management and the investment part through its fund manager. It is close to 105,000 million euros between funds, pension plans and discretionary portfolio management at the end of September, and this represents a growth of 2% compared to June 2022, which is the same drop recorded in deposits in the last year due to “the search for higher returns in other products or in early mortgage repayments,” the entity noted in the presentation of results.