Several banks try to kindle this evolution with well thought-out marketing campaigns. Radio commercials were aired the past months to convince unswayable savers to consider alternatives for the savings account.
Isabeau De Cleen, spokeswoman for Axa banks, sees two remarkable evolutions in the savings behaviour of the Belgian people: “On the one hand you have families who keep their money in the current account instead of the savings account. More and more clients, on the other hand, opt for investments as an alternative to fixed-income products.”
The main reason for the hesitant steps towards investment products is the lack of time and knowledge amongst the savers. People who wish to invest need to devote some time to get familiar with the various options and investment products or need to search for a good and reliable advisor on the matter. This is why investment plans from banks are rather popular. With such plans, not much effort is required from the investor, apart from a monthly deduction, but adequate returns are guaranteed based on the investor’s profile. It is an easy investment product to enter into and thus suitable for investors with little time and knowledge. The selection of funds to invest in is made by the bank and thus the entrance threshold is lowered.
“By spreading the amount over multiple moments of purchase, we try to obtain a better average buying-in price than with a “one shot” and this should generate a higher yield.”, says Jeroen Petrus, spokesman for BNP Parisbas Fortis. Other banks share this opinion. Key Trade bank states they have seen a doubling in the amount of investment plans. KBC reports a growth of 40%. Remarkable is that 15% of such investors is not investing for themselves, but for their children or grandchildren.