Households’ habits have globally changed during COVID,
triggering explosion in their savings
Manama--- Bahrain: The role of financial literacy in households’ investment decisions, the effects of monetary easing and lower interest rates on savers, the role of governments in protecting workers from income shocks, digitizing finance and financial inclusion, building a regional household savings index, and multi-generational wealth planning are some of the key topics to be covered by the Arab Household Savings Conference 2022, to be held on the 29th and 30th March.
Organized by Fintech Robos, the Bahrain-based savings and pensions technology provider, the event has attracted top-notch speakers from regional banks, insurance companies, investment management firms, wealth managers, financial planners, investment advisers, digital challengers, and financial economists.
“Households’ habits have changed dramatically during the COVID-19 crisis across the globe. The pandemic has triggered a sharp drop in their consumption and an explosion in their savings, as shown by statistics,” said Ebrahim K Ebrahim, CEO of Fintech Robos, attributing the trend to measures taken to curb the epidemic, which restricted the possibilities for consuming goods and services and, in doing so, led to savings.
According to published data, although personal savings has been on the rise since the financial crisis of 2007-2009, the saving rate increased rapidly during the pandemic for several reasons, including precautionary savings and the inability to spend money due to business closures.
“For savings and financial specialists, there are two lessons to be drawn from the current pandemic. The first concerns families harmed by the pandemic. How it affected their jobs, incomes, and livelihood, especially for those who didn’t have any savings or family emergency fund. The experience should change this segment’s financial behavior for the coming years, explained Mr. Ebrahim.
“The second is about the propensity of households to save, which has reached extraordinary levels since early 2020. The saving rate increased sharply in the first half of 2020, and since then, it has fluctuated around a much higher level than before the pandemic. This, in turn, will encourage households to continue with the higher savings levels they have achieved,” he said.
He elaborated that the primary purpose of organizing this first-of-its-kind conference in the region is to create a vital debate and an information-sharing platform on the significance of long-term savings for household financial resilience. It is also to increase awareness on the need-to-save and the knowledge around savings solutions offered by the financial.
“Simply put, we aim to build better stakeholder awareness and place long-term savings and household financial resilience on the agenda for all those concerned,” he said.
“Together with the annual Arab Pensions Conference, we hope the Arab Household Savings Conference by Fintech Robos will foster a lively debate and a growing industry forum on personal finance, pension savings and pension investments across the MENA region,” said Mr. Ebrahim.