UK could not survive on savings

Nia Williams

October 13, 2010

The survey of 2,100 UK adults reveals 19% have no savings at all to fall back on and 11% have less than £249 set aside as a financial safety net. This is the equivalent of just five days average take home pay while the recommended minimum is three months (£4,683).

Those aged between 25 and 34 are the least prepared for a financial emergency, 41% have less than £249 in savings, with a quarter (25%) saying they have nothing set aside at all. Women are far less prepared than men, 20% admit they have no savings and 13% have less than £249 compared to 17% and 9% of men respectively. Across the UK, people in the North West are least likely to have any savings set aside at all with a quarter (25%) admitting they had no financial safety net.

Just one in five (20%) Britons admit they wouldn’t be able to pay their mortgage, rent or other bills if they were unable to work, despite setting little aside in savings. Just over a third (36%) would seek government support or apply for jobseeker’s allowance while 22% say they would rely on their partner to cover the bills if they were made redundant.

Interestingly 30% of women would expect their partner to cover their monthly outgoings if they were unable to work, compared to just 15% of men who would expect the same of their partner.

Richard Brown, head of savings for HSBC, commented: “These findings demonstrate a worrying lack of preparation amongst UK residents. With the current climate of uncertainty, it is of utmost importance that people are setting aside a realistic sum of money to be used in emergencies.

“By putting away a small sum each month Britons can help themselves build up an emergency savings pot as provision for any eventuality.”

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