Australian Retail Deposits: Forecasts and Opportunities

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The Australian retail deposit market clocked up stronger growth in 2018 following a deceleration in 2017 and is now valued at A$1.1tn. The market has posted most of its growth in the instant access categories rather than term deposits, though the latter remains the second most important store of savings for Australians after superannuation. While the net savings rate of the household sector is in long-term decline, deposits are expected to retain their draw. The only blip in its forecast growth to A$1.6tn by 2022 is a minor decline in favor of the growing pile of superannuation savings.

"Australian Retail Deposits: Forecasts and Opportunities", report analyzes the performance of the Australian retail deposit market. Drivers of recent performance and key trends in savings behavior are examined, with implications for future growth and competitive ADI positioning.


– Fee income derived from accounts is largely flat, highlighting the need for efficiency of delivery.

– Depressed APRs are preventing a shift into term deposits, with instant access accounts still attracting the bulk of consumer attention.

– The Australian Capital Territory has the highest average deposit values, while the Northern Territory has the lowest.

– Neobanks are finally making their presence felt in the Australian market, albeit mainly in younger-age cohorts.

Reasons to Buy

– Discover the factors that will affect the savings market in 2019 and beyond

– Understand which strategies will be the most effective in attracting new retail deposits

– Learn about the new savings innovations being introduced to the market

– Realize what impact the introduction of neobanks will have on Australia’s deposit market

– Reveal how consumers' decreasing savings rate interacts with a challenging economic climate

– Expose the latest consumer behavioral trends and preview how these will affect products demanded in the retail savings market.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia
National Bank of Australia
Up Bank

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1.1. Deposit growth will hold up despite a lower household savings rate

1.2. Key findings

1.3. Critical success factors


2.1. Retail deposits will reach $1.6tn by 2022

2.1.1. Growth is hard to come by when interest rates are so low

2.1.2. Superannuation will increasingly dominate the retail savings pool, at the expense of other lines of business

2.2. Certificates of deposit are in long-term decline due to low rates

2.2.1. Deposits in transaction accounts and instant-access savings or cash management accounts have grown

2.2.2. The shift in deposit products was the result of a convergence in APRs as rates have declined

2.3. Regional deposit markets are heavily skewed towards the largest states

2.3.1. The East coast dominates the deposit market, with little change forecast

2.3.2. Total deposit growth is largely dependent upon average deposit growth in such a mature market

2.3.3. All states will see a slowing of deposit growth but Queensland and Western Australia will suffer the most


3.1. Macroeconomic conditions are mixed, moderating growth

3.1.1. Net saving by households is trending down from its post-financial crisis high and will constrain growth

3.1.2. Consumer confidence has been erratic but remains down from the years of the mining boom

3.1.3. The lack of wage growth in Australia has severely constrained the growth of deposits

3.1.4. A shift towards life stages where assets are run down rather than accumulated moderates growth

3.1.5. Deposit rates, though low, are enough to draw in savings as other asset classes fail to impress

3.2. Savings goals have shifted away from new home buying

3.2.1. Contingency funds and holidays are top priorities for savers

3.2.2. Older consumers are a hot market for deposits

3.3. Switching rates remain low, making rapid growth a struggle

3.3.1. Switching has never been popular in Australia but is modestly increasing again

3.3.2. The emerging affluent market should be the focus of ADIs’ efforts

3.3.3. Switchers are motivated by an interest in banking and financial management

3.3.4. Personal financial management is becoming a staple of the transaction account relationship


4.1. The big four dominate the retail savings market

4.2. Commonwealth Bank retains a leading market share

4.2.1. The retail deposit market remains highly consolidated, though smaller players are gaining

4.2.2. Commonwealth Bank retains a leading market share

4.2.3. Consolidation has continued among mutual players

4.2.4. Attracting significant deposits in Australia is usually a function of cross selling

4.3. Alternative banks are flooding into the market, making neobanks a growing threat

4.3.1. The Australian market has had little in the way of new entrants for many years

4.3.2. Established ADIs have the edge with security and service


5.1. Abbreviations and acronyms

5.2. Definitions

5.2.1. Neobanks

5.3. Bibliography

5.4. Further reading


List of Tables

Table 1: Australian retail banking division income statement (A$m), 2012-17

Table 2: Retail deposit market split by Australian states and territories

Table 3: Percentage of individuals reporting interest income on their tax returns, 2016-17

Table 4: Average retail deposits by state and territory, A$m

Table 5: Average savings deposit size by age band, A$

Table 6: End-of-year retail deposit balances, A$m


List of Figures

Figure 1: Australian retail deposits will grow below-trend due to low rates and low wage inflation

Figure 2: ADIs have been reliant on credit products for growth in fee income, making the lending slump a challenge

Figure 3: Deposits’ share of retail savings and investments is forecast to slip as super continues to grow

Figure 4: With rates low, term deposits and certificates have struggled to draw in more money

Figure 5: Spreads between instant access and terms are growing but only because instant access rates have tumbled

Figure 6: Household savings are trending down once again, constraining the growth potential in the deposit market

Figure 7: Business conditions have improved but consumer confidence is struggling out of the mining bust funk

Figure 8: Average wage growth has been constrained in recent years but appears to have bottomed out

Figure 9: Even with robust net immigration, Australia is aging

Figure 10: The relative attractiveness of deposits will ensure the asset class attracts a greater share of household savings

Figure 11: The emerging affluent are building a rainy day fund and aiming to enjoy life

Figure 12: Westpac allows for multiple savings pools in one account

Figure 13: Switching rates have crept up but remain well down from previous years

Figure 14: Customers building their wealth are most open to switching accounts rather than those who are already wealthy

Figure 15: The emerging affluent are still heavily concentrated in deposit products by the value of their savings

Figure 16: A compelling tech story is increasingly what ADIs need to convert switchers

Figure 17: Spending and budgeting functionalities are most valued by Australians

Figure 18: Up Bank has predictive balance alerts that proactively help customers manage their spending

Figure 19: CBA’s main brand continues to dominate the market; little has changed since it peaked in 2016

Figure 20: Market share in transaction accounts corresponds closely to the savings space

Figure 21: The Australian market is rapidly becoming crowded with startup banks both homegrown and foreign

Figure 22: Generation X and millennials are most at risk to the new breed of neobanks

Figure 23: Australia is very much a debit card-centric market

Figure 24: A proven brand with branches still has a resonance for the Australian market

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