At least one in every five euros in treasure letters are in the hands of private. The appeal of this public debt short term (up to 12 months), which combines security and relative availability, skyrocketed with the start of the rise in interest rateswhich began in July of last year by the European Central Bank (ECB), although the biggest boom occurred from the end of 2022.
The difference between the yields of the new big bank depositswhich currently stands at an average of 2.21% (in current accounts it is barely 0.12%), compared to the average 3.75% for mortgages for home purchases, is one of the elements that have fueled interest in the bills and that allow the Treasury to meet its financing objectives in each of the auctions.
This week, in the one of the titles to six and 12 months, the marginal rate increased in the first until 3.665%; at the level of 2012; but that of the latter, which was expected to reach 4%, stood at 3.682%, far from the 4% that many expected and the 3.804% of the previous auction. Next Wednesday the last bill auction of this month will be held, with those of three and nine months, which in last month stood at a marginal rate of 3.531% and 3.810%, respectively.
Until May, the latest data available, bills in the hands of individuals totaled almost 15,000 million euros, which represents 20.91% of the total, only surpassed by non-residents, with 32.88%. The current weight of these financial assets in the hands of individuals is unprecedented, since the highest level was reached in 2007, with 10.97%, the year prior to the outbreak of the great financial crisis precipitated by the fall of Lehman Brothers.
The highest point reached by individuals in investment in bills in absolute terms was reached in 2008, with a total of 4,730 million, which then accounted for 9.08% of the total. After the sovereign debt crisis in the European Union (EU) in 2012, the interest of individuals in these financial assets began to decline, until they were practically insignificant, especially during the period of negative intereststhat is to say, a stage in which investors had to be willing to pay rather than charge to finance the Treasury. It was a period that lasted from 2016 to 2022.
Despite this avalanche of demand, the big bankswhich have plenty of liquidity, have not been forced to give priority to the depositswhose volume amounted to 989,000 million euros in June, despite the fact that they admit that there will be a time when they will have to do so.
Small and medium banking
It is the small and medium-sized ones that have chosen to offer interests that exceed 4%. In some cases, the large banks in the system improve the remuneration of deposits through their digital subsidiaries. It is the case of Open bankof the Santander group or the digital account of Banco Sabadell.
For terms of six months to a year there are ‘online’ entities that offer even more than 4% APR. Among them are Banco Mediolanum, as well as the Italian Bank Systemo Project Deskas well as Fjord Bankwith Lithuanian token, among others.
The Vice President and Acting Minister of Economy, Nadia Calvino, He went so far as to criticize in public how little the big banks remunerate deposits, to which the sector responded that the rise will not occur because they say so but because of the competition.
The big jump in the demand for bills by private investors occurred last November and December and has not stopped rising. The Treasury, which only sells directly through the Bank of Spain, which has few offices throughout the country, has limited face-to-face commercial capacity. In fact, in February he was forced to paralyze your website and finally to refer potential customers to the network or to request an appointment to avoid crowds.
The euphoria experienced by public debt savers meant that last year they closed the year with 3,233 million euros invested in government securities: 1,826 million in short-term bills and 1,407 million in longer-maturity bonds and obligations. In 2023, the data will be higher.
The amount, the highest since 2015is 2,226 million and 68.8% higher than that at the end of 2021, thanks above all to the spectacular increase in the portfolio of bills in the hands of individuals (at 1,809 million, from 17 million a year earlier; while that of bonds and obligations rose by 417 million and 42%).
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