November 14, 2013

European savers, leveraging only once their capital, stands no chance to compete with banks for good rates on “safe” savings

Sir, I refer to Alice Ross’ “Central bankers seeks to quell rate anger” November 14. In it she refers to the problem of German savers finding extremely low returns when placing their money, into what is supposedly very low risk.

Jens Weidman, the president of the Bundesbank, argues that there is no discrimination among European savers and that they are all equally affected. That may be… but there is an underlying regulatory distortion that discriminates strongly against all individual savers, in favor of the banks.

When European banks are allowed to leverage their capital 60 or more times for exposures to absolutely-safe havens, rates will be very low in these. And the poor individual saver, leveraging his own capital just once, stands no chance to compete for a decent rate.