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Examiner1

Households stash an average €44k as savers change habits

IRISH households have stashed away an average of almost €44,000 each but many are moving their cash to instant access accounts as concerns mount about their future finances.

According to figures from personal finance advisers, bonkers.ie, Irish people have €64.5 billion in savings accounts, which doesn't include pensions, shares or investment products.

This works out at €43,851 per household, according to Simon Moynihan of bonkers.ie.

Mr Moynihan said, however, that there is a change in people's savings habits which mirrors the turbulent economic times.

Between May last year and May this year, the amount of money in long-term deposit accounts went from €15.1bn to €10.2bn - a drop of €4.9bn, he said.

However, the amount of money in notice or instant access accounts increased by €4.9bn to €17.2bn over the same period of time.

"Over the last year, we have been steadily taking money out of term accounts and putting it into notice accounts.

"I feel Irish people are simply not comfortable locking their money away for long periods of time anymore. Instead they are opting for accounts that still give decent rates of interest but that allow access after a bit of notice," he added.

The figures also show that savers have around €37bn locked in overnight demand accounts, which have been dubbed "sleeping money" because of the low levels of interest this money is earning.

These accounts earn an average 0.6% interest compared with the 3.5% which could be earned in some fixed terms accounts.

Managing director with bonkers.ie, David Kerr, said he would encourage savers to move their money into term or notice accounts and achieve much higher savings rates.

Mr Kerr said the average savings figure per household is "very high" and shows that "clearly there are some households with a lot more than that figure, with the majority having nil or close-to-nil".

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