Retail savings market sees growth

The European retail savings and investments market has grown 8.1% over the period 1997-2001, a report from Datamonitor reveals. The UK accounts for the largest market share, followed by Germany.

Retail deposits is the largest sector, driven by households increasing savings due to the slowdown of the global economy. The UK holds the largest retail savings and investments market in Europe, with a share of 23.1% in 2001. However, the UK share has been declining in 2001. Ireland and Spain are the fastest growing countries within the European retail savings and investments market.

Sebastian Mrotzek, a financial services analyst at Datamonitor, says: “The slowdown of the global economy and falling stock markets in most countries did not help the confidence of retail investors in European countries where equity cultures are relatively young. Falling share prices led to a decline in direct equity and mutual fund assets in most European countries.

“However, as interest rates across Europe are low, it is expected that retail investors will return to the markets in the future in search for higher returns. But where they invested before directly into equities, they will now choose to invest indirectly into equities via mutual funds.”