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The Chief Economist's report: The prosperity of Finns is slowed down by the low amount of investments

Aktia Pankki Oyj
·3-min read

According to Aktia's Chief Economist Lasse Corin, the weak growth potential of the Finnish economy and structural challenges will have an adverse effect on income development. In an environment of low income growth, the importance of return on assets invested by households is emphasized as a means of accumulating wealth. However, Finns still rely on deposits, although their return potential is insignificant in the current interest rate environment.

In a report published today by Aktia, Chief Economist Lasse Corin states that the value of household investment assets was EUR 230 billion at the end of 2020. Investment assets include deposits, quoted shares, mutual funds, and life insurance savings. At the turn of the year, Finns had both life insurance savings and listed shares worth to about EUR 46 billion. The value of savings in mutual funds was EUR 32 billion. Investment assets have grown by about 93 billion euros in ten years. Deposits are by far the most popular form of saving for Finnish households, although they offer almost no return, for example in the form of a change in value.

Significant untapped revenue potential

“We estimate that households have EUR 12 billion in excessive deposits in their bank accounts. If this amount was invested in the Helsinki Stock Exchange, it would have generated a dividend income of approximately EUR 300 million for Finnish households last year. The growth of the deposit stock is influenced by several factors, such as the situation in the labour market, the growth of household debt and the willingness to invest. However, in terms of wealth, it is essential that any extra deposits are invested with higher return expectations, such as in shares or mutual funds.”, says Lasse Corin, Aktia's Chief Economist.

Funds in bank accounts do not yield anything with the current interest rates. Despite this, they are by far the most popular form of saving for Finnish households over the past 10 years. At the same time, value changes for life insurances, mutual funds and shares have increased household’s wealth by almost EUR 40 billion over 10 years. In addition, these also have accumulated return, for example in the form of dividends, which further increases the total assets of private investors.

“Households are increasingly interested in investing and wealth, even though the amount of disposable income has not increased significantly in recent years. In an environment of low income growth, the importance of return on assets invested by households is emphasized as a means of accumulating wealth. The investment market gives households access to the benefits of higher economic growth.”, says Corin.

More information
Lasse Corin, chef ekonomist, tel. +358 40 8080 635, lasse.corin@aktia.fi
Katja Korsinkin, communications manager, tel. +358 50 411 3036, katja.korsinkin@aktia.fi

Aktia is a Finnish asset manager, bank and life insurer that has been creating wealth and wellbeing from one generation to the next for 200 years. We serve our customers in digital channels everywhere and face-to-face in our offices in the Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, Vaasa and Oulu regions. Our award-winning asset management business sells investment funds internationally. We employ approximately 930 people around Finland. Aktia's assets under management (AuM) on 31 December 2020 amounted to EUR 10.4 billion, and the balance sheet total was EUR 10.6 billion. Aktia's shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd (AKTIA). aktia.com.

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