The average German carries a total of €107 in their wallet, and has a total of €1,364 in bank safe deposit boxes.
The amount of hoarded cash varies widely among the population, with some people carrying barely any extra cash, and others quite a bit.
Self-employed, older people and high-earners were the most likely to keep a lot of cash tucked away.
Bundesbank board member Johannes Beermann said that younger people tend to store less cash simply because they have less of it.
So why exactly do Germans store cash rather than, say, keeping it in a bank account?
From the point of view of 58 percent of those surveyed, the low interest rates are a reason to store notes and coins on a larger scale.
Cash is also a common means of payment, 55 percent said. In third place among the reasons is a lack of confidence in the security and resilience of the technical infrastructure, for example, fear of hacker attacks.
Other possible motives cited by respondents who hoard cash were “no fees” and “anonymity”.
In addition, 12 percent of those surveyed name “hiding assets from the state” as a possible reason.
The Bundesbank defines hoarding as the storage of cash for a period of two weeks or more.
Whether people's behaviour has changed during the coronavirus crisis is not clear from the representative survey of 2000 people from 2018. There was no follow-up survey.
Cash is seen by many as a safe haven in turbulent times. Especially at the beginning of the crisis in Germany in March, according to other data from the Central Bank, the demand for notes and coins had risen significantly.
Accordingly, there were also slight increases in the net issuance of cash in the following months.
However, many businesses also began accepting card payments for the first time, as people worried about the hygiene of bank notes and coins.
Wallet – Geldbeutel
Bank safe deposit boxes – (die) Bankschließfächern
Hoarding – (die) Hortung
safe haven – sicherer Hafen
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