(Bloomberg) -- Danes are redirecting savings and buying up foreign stocks “like never before” as banks at home charge progressively more to hold excess cash, according to Denmark’s central bank.

Households poured more money into foreign shares and investment funds in the nine months through September than they did in all of 2020, the central bank said in a statement. Private investors owned shares worth $18 billion, with holdings in Nordea Bank Abp, Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. topping the list.

The buying frenzy follows decisions by Danish banks to levy charges on savings of more than around $15,500. Danske Bank A/S, the country’s largest lender, last week became the latest to lower its deposit rate to minus 0.7% from minus 0.6%, after the central bank cut its key rate.

Denmark pegs its currency to the euro, requiring the central bank to adjust interest rates to ensure that link is maintained. Save for a brief pause, its key rate has been negative since 2012.

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