Interest in cash savings is returning
This year's "Social Diagnosis" caused an avalanche of comments, but one cannot help but get the impression that the most interesting of the charts included in the Diagnosis went almost without an echo. It is said that, for the first time in the 21st century, the percentage of Poles who kept their savings at home was higher than those who used banking services.
Over fifty percent of households indicated cash (59 percent) as a form of storage of savings, although two years earlier it was only 34 percent, and in 2000 only 31 percent. At the same time, for fifteen years now we have been dealing with a trend which is reflected in a move away from bank deposits. New surveys revealed that only 53 percent of respondents use this form of saving money, although two years earlier it was 66 percent of Poles, and in the record-breaking year 2000 - 78 percent.
There was no question about gold in the survey, but it can be assumed that the popularity of this method for the thesis of property is decreasing. Taking into account the fact that non-cash payments are so strongly promoted, and at the same time we often hear about plans to completely withdraw from cash, we can be surprised that "sock" is more popular than deposits. It is also a kind of negation of quantitative research, as it indicates that card payments are becoming more and more important in Poland. Yet, for some reason, for the first time in the twenty-first century, more Poles trust cash than financial institutions. At the same time, each successive survey indicates a higher percentage of Poles admitting that they have savings than before. Currently, it is already 45% of the respondents, although two years ago it was 40%, and in the year 2000 used as a reference point - 24%. The renaissance in the popularity of cash is to a large extent a consequence of the policy applied in the largest banks in the world. The reference rate was also radically cut in 2013 by the native NBP. It was not necessary to wait too long for the consequences of this decision, as it resulted in a drop in interest rates on bank deposits. Today, it is difficult to find proposals with interest rates exceeding 3%. If we subtract the Belka tax and the costs related to the maintenance of the account itself, a person with an amount of PLN 10,000 is not a loss at best.
It turns out that although cash does not work on itself, in such a case it becomes an equally good way to save money. Recent years have also convinced us what the "digitization" of bank deposits ends with. Also, the Greek "bank holidays" lasting over a month do not make us optimistic, especially as the Greeks still have problems with the management of their bank contributions. Of course, this does not change the fact that the vast majority of savings held by Polish families are still in banks. In September 2015, it was almost PLN 620 billion, while the amount of cash in circulation (excluding the one in banks' cash desks) is estimated at about 143.2 billion. In practice, this is more than four times less than what we can talk about in terms of bank deposits. The cash in circulation itself does not belong exclusively to individuals, but is also available to businesses. If, therefore, most savers really prefer cash, this does not mean, however, that the banks have a real cause for concern, as they themselves have impressive resources at their disposal. Of course, this trend may also change at some point in the future, which may even be caused by negative interest rates - one of the ways to support the economy. In such circumstances, a rapid exit from the bank may be the only solution that can be considered reasonable. Of course, if banks allow their customers to do so at all.