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Paper: Many equity savings accounts empty

More than a third of equity savings accounts sit empty, reports regional paper Savon Sanomat.

Helsingin pörssitalo.
Year-on-year, the household savings rate increased by 5.7 percent last year. Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

Many people in Finland have rushed to open equity savings accounts since they were launched by retail banks at the beginning of last year. But many of these accounts are now dormant.

Of the some 190,000 equity savings accounts opened by bank customers, around 65,000 do not hold any shares, according to Savon Sanomat. The paper's email survey of retail banks found that tens of thousands of these accounts are completely empty.

Private individuals can transfer up to 50,000 euros into equity savings accounts which allow users to buy and sell equities without paying any taxes on transactions until they withdraw funds from the account.

Sari Lounasmeri, CEO of the Finnish Foundation for Share Promotion, told the paper she suspected that many beginner investors were starting out slowly and may be waiting for the right time to start investing. Lounasmeri also noted that more than 40,000 equity savings accounts were opened this year alone.

Bank accounts of Finnish households have grown by more than eight billion euros over the course of the pandemic. Year-on-year, the household savings rate increased by 5.7 percent last year. According to Statistics Finland, savings levels have not been that high since the crippling recession of the 1990s.

Ålandsbanken did not participate in the Savon Sanomat survey.

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