Money outside banks increased
While interest rates for savings have dropped in unconsiderable levels, individuals seem to try new investment alternatives outside the system, according to the Bank of Albania, which says that money outside banks increased with 11.8% in February, the strongest change in the past years.
According to the Bank, by the end of February, the money that goes outside the banking system reached 217.3 billion, from 184.2 billion that it was last February. This means that cash in our economy increased with 23 billion ALL, or 200 million USD.
Although in high levels, money outside banks has been stabilized for several years, but it has returned recently, with a bigger pace. Experts think that the phenomenon has been encouraged by the significant drop of interest rates in banks.
According to the official data, the interest rate for 1-year deposits has dropped with four times in the past two years, reaching the 1.5% level.
Some economists believe that this could signal another concerning phenomenon, that of informal loans.
Bank of Albania confirms there is an informal financial market, with businesses or individuals exchanging money outside the system.