The pandemic and all the restrictions that accompany it have forced the population to spend less, so much so that the bank accounts of some Quebecers are fuller than ever.
“We have never seen so much liquidity accumulated in the bank accounts of our clients,” said Louis Khalil, portfolio manager at the Financière Banque Nationale de Rimouski, specifying that his sample includes some 1,200 families between Quebec and Gaspé.
According to various financial advisers in the region, the significant reduction in non-essential spending and the various government aids are in question.
“There are a lot of people who work from home, who have fewer expenses in terms of transport, clothing, fewer outings, catering, travel, so they have increased their disposable income”, explained Nathalie. Chouinard, account manager for Service Signature Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie – Îles-de-la-Maldeleine at Desjardins.
Programs like the Canada Emergency Benefit have also helped some people increase their income, according to various advisers in the region.
And since there is more disposable income, there is a greater interest in the various savings plans.
“We have an improvement in assets and a decrease in the liability side,” said Mr. Khalil. There is a balance, we decide to accelerate the payment of certain debts and at the same time, we take RRSPs and TFSAs. ”
“People take their unused rights, they take advantage of it because they have these sums available”, confirmed Mme Chouinard.
The unpredictability of the pandemic has also had certain effects on the financial behavior of certain residents of Eastern Quebec.
“People are thinking more about saving, the vision has changed a bit, people are thinking about later, want to be sure that they have money available if there is another wave for example,” said Mme Chouinard.
There has been an increase in savings across the country since the start of the pandemic. In the second quarter of 2020, the household savings rate stood at 28.2%, while in the previous quarter it stood at 7.6%, according to data from Statistics Canada.