Household financial assets and liabilities in the EU
Total financial assets of households in the European Union (EU) reached €33 850 billion in 2016. The assets mainly consisted of insurance, pensions and standardised guarantees (38.8% of all household financial assets), currency and deposits (30.4%), equity and investment fund shares (25.2%).
As for financial liabilities, they amounted to €10 113 billion in 2016, with loans making up more than 90% of the households’ total financial liabilities. Most of them were taken for house purchases (mortgages).
Household financial assets now higher than before the financial crisis
Over the past years, total household financial liabilities have remained relatively stable at around 70% of GDP in the EU. However, the impact of the financial crisis is more evident in total financial assets of the EU households. They decreased from 213% of GDP in 2006 to 182% in 2008, before a recovery to 205% in 2009, and a subsequent steady increase to reach almost 230% of GDP in 2016. In other words, financial assets of households in the EU were slightly higher in GDP terms in 2016 than before the crisis.
Ratio of households’ financial assets to GDP highest in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
In relative terms, in 2016 total financial assets of EU households represented 227.1% of GDP and liabilities 67.8%. Across the EU Member States, total financial assets of households were about three times larger than GDP in the Netherlands (332.5% of GDP), the United Kingdom (329.3%) and Belgium (314.9%). Member States where households held most total financial liabilities relative to GDP were Cyprus (141.5%), Denmark (133.2%), and the Netherlands (119.8%).