31/01/2015

31/01/2015
The quarterly Halifax Savings Review uses consumer research, and data from Halifax's deposit savings
database, to monitor public sentiment and behaviour towards saving. The data presents a snapshot of the
nation’s saving habits. Raiding is defined as taking money out of savings to pay for unexpected costs or bills, or
spending savings on things other than they were intended for.
Savings suffer as Christmas spending takes its
toll
•
A third of savers (30%) added nothing to their savings in the final three
months of the year
• A quarter of savers (26%) were forced to raid their savings in the same
period to cover unexpected costs
• The average amount raided, at £1,405, was almost double the average
total saved, £766
The nation’s Savings accounts suffered a setback in the run up to Christmas, as a
third of those with savings admitted to not adding anything to their nest egg, whilst
one in four savers had to unexpectedly raid their accounts to cover additional
spending, according to the latest research from Halifax.
Saving vs. Raiding
Four-fifths (81%) of British adults say that they have some form of savings i currently, with
the average balance stated at just below £18,000 (£17,945) for Q4 2014, this is significantly
below the average for the same period the previous year, which stood at almost £24,000
(£23,790).
However, of those with savings around a third (30%) hasn’t saved anything in the past three
months. Additionally, the average amount saved by those with savings over the past three
months stands at £766, slightly lower than the £770 saved over the same period in 2013.
At the same time, one in four (26%) savers say that they were forced to raid their savings to
pay for unexpected costs or bills, with an average of £1,405 coming out of savings over the
same period.
Region
South east
Midlands
North England
Wales & South West
Scotland
All
Average savings in
past three months
£1,238
£586
£607
£581
£618
£766
Average amount
raided from savings
£1,364
£1,761
£1,253
£1,307
£1,169
£1,405
% who saved
(Qtr 4)
75%
68%
70%
67%
63%
70%
% who raided
(Qtr 4)
28%
23%
24%
31%
26%
26%
For further information please contact:
Halifax Press Team:
Claire Barratt: 020 7661 4668 / 07867 814168 [email protected]
Ben Marquand: 020 7356 1838 / 07881 311199 [email protected]
Clare Mortimer: 020 7574 8648 / 07768 541555 [email protected]
Shelley Dickinson: 020 7356 1405 / 07766 924450 [email protected]
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31/01/2015
The main reason for dipping into savings was for a holiday or to cover the costs of
emergency home or car repairs with one in seven (14%) raiders stating one of these two
reasons. Additionally, one in 10 cited overspending on their current account (11%), and the
same on impulse gifts or luxury shopping (11%) indicating that overspending at Christmas
was likely a key factor.
Saving levels falling short
Based on the latest Halifax data, savers have an average balance equivalent to 35%ii of
gross annual earnings. However, the research indicates that consumers were saving just
over £250 a month on average in the last quarter, meaning they managed to save an
amount equivalent to just 11% of their gross monthly income in the three months to
December, well below the long run average.
The weakness in savings during the final months of 2014 is likely to have been influenced by
heavy discounting by UK retailers around "Black Friday", which not only saw consumers
bring forward their Christmas spending, but encouraged them to spend even more.
Protecting the nest egg
Only one in four (25%) savers say that they maintain a buffer limit on their nest egg, with the
average amount they try not to let their savings dip below standing at over £10,000
(£10,797) for Q4 2014.
The average buffer limit currently stands at the equivalent of 39% of gross annual average
earnings, or just under five months pay. However, only a quarter of savers maintain a buffer,
with the vast majority (three quarters) not maintaining a minimum balance. Additionally, of
these cautious savers who do try to maintain a buffer, one in five (19%) has admitted to
dropping below the limit they have set for themselves since October last year.
Philip Robinson, Savings Director, Halifax, says:
“Improving consumer confidence in 2014 boosted spending, particularly in the latter months
of the year, however it seems to have had a knock on effect with low levels of savings over
the same period.
“Saving regularly is important to building and maintaining a savings base, which will protect
households in the event of a change in circumstances or unexpected expenses. Whilst we
expect a certain level of raiding of savings in the run up to Christmas, if savers’ balances
continue to decrease year on year it would represent a worrying trend for household
finances."
Additional Information:
• Savers in the south east saved the most in the last quarter, putting aside an average
of £1,238 over that time; whilst those in the Midlands who raided their savings
withdrew the highest balances, at an average of £1,761.
For further information please contact:
Halifax Press Team:
Claire Barratt: 020 7661 4668 / 07867 814168 [email protected]
Ben Marquand: 020 7356 1838 / 07881 311199 [email protected]
Clare Mortimer: 020 7574 8648 / 07768 541555 [email protected]
Shelley Dickinson: 020 7356 1405 / 07766 924450 [email protected]
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31/01/2015
•
•
•
Women were more likely than men to dip into their savings, 28% and 24%
respectively, but on average men who raided their savings were taking out more than
their female counterparts, an average of £1,768 compared to £1,089 for women.
Those aged between 45-54 years who raided their savings old plundered the most
from their savings, raiding an average of £2,594 over the three month period.
Those in retirement age (over 65s) saved just £555 – the lowest for all age groups in the last three months of 2014; 27% below the average for all for all savers (£766).
ENDS
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Marketing Sciences Unlimited. Total sample size was
2,050 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th - 18th January 2015. The survey was carried
out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
i
Includes savings held with institutions other than Halifax; excludes pensions and investments.
Based on an average savings balance of £9,578 held by Halifax customers and gross annual
average (mean) earnings are for all workers (full and part time) in Great Britain of £27,461.
ii
For further information please contact:
Halifax Press Team:
Claire Barratt: 020 7661 4668 / 07867 814168 [email protected]
Ben Marquand: 020 7356 1838 / 07881 311199 [email protected]
Clare Mortimer: 020 7574 8648 / 07768 541555 [email protected]
Shelley Dickinson: 020 7356 1405 / 07766 924450 [email protected]
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