Irish savers are getting the lowest returns in euro zone

Irish savers are earning just €4 on deposits of €10,000 compared with €142 in the Netherlands ECB figures show

Irish savers are earning the lowest returns on their savings across the Euro zone, new figures from the European Central Bank show, while at the same time they're paying significantly over the odds for their home loans.

According to new figures published on Monday by the European Central Bank, Irish savers can expect to earn just 0.04 per cent on fixed term deposits, the lowest rate among 19 Euro zone countries. This means that on a €10,000 deposit fixed for a year, an Irish saver will earn just €4.

It compares with rates of as high as 1.42 per cent (Netherlands), 0.83 per cent (Malta) and 0.78 per cent (France). This means that a Dutch saver can expect to earn €142 on their deposit, or €83 in Malta and €78 in France, compared to the Irish saver’s €4.

The Irish rate is significantly below the Euro zone average (0.35%) and is below other low paying countries, which include Spain (0.06%) and Luxembourg (0.14%).



When it comes to mortgage rates, Irish consumers are again losing out, with banks charging some of the heftiest rates across the Euro zone to those looking to buy a home.

According to the ECB figures, new business rates for buying a home in Ireland stood at 3.11 per cent in July - down from 3.24 per cent a year earlier. However, this is significantly more than rates enjoyed by our peers elsewhere in Europe, where average rates are just 2.12 per cent.

Indeed someone buying a home in Germany can expect to repay their loan at a rate of just 1.94 per cent, 2.2 per cent in France, or as low as 0.99 per cent in Finland.

This means that someone buying a home for €300,000 in Ireland will have monthly repayments of €1,283 based on a rate of 3.11 per cent over 30 years. But a homeowner would save themselves €319 - a month! - or €3,828 a year, if they could avail of the same rate enjoyed by the Finnish. Home buyers in Germany on the other hand, would have monthly repayments of just €1,100.

While mortgage rates have been on a downward trend in Ireland, falling to as low as 2.4 per cent for some customers, the latest figures show that on average, Irish property buyers continue to pay over the odds.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times