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Savers 'Should Not Rest On Laurels'

Mar 1, 2008
A significant number of Britons are failing to make full use of their savings schemes, a new study shows.

In a report released today (February 25th), Lloyds TSB Savings indicates that some 46 per cent of consumers do not have any type of individual savings accounts (Isa) product, despite the fact that it can allow them to save money on a tax-free basis. Furthermore, it appears that those who do have such a scheme could be placing themselves at unnecessary monetary pressure, as just 13 per cent have switched Isa provider. These statistics comes despite a quarter of respondents being aware they could get a more competitive deal on their savings elsewhere.

Due to not making full use of their tax-free savings allowances, consumers may find that they do not have as much money in their account as they had previously anticipated. In turn, this may lead to them developing problems in meeting demands for payment on the likes of personal loans and credit card bills.

Commenting on the findings, Liz Hogbin, savings and investments director for Lloyds TSB, said: "Sometimes shopping around can really be worthwhile and by resting on their laurels many Isa savers are actually losing out on easy money. For instance, the average interest rate on an Isa balance of 9,000 pounds is 5.36 per cent, but by switching to an account offering 6.5 per cent you could earn over 20 per cent more interest tax free for very little effort."

Alvin Hall, an independent financial expert, added: "If you've got the funds to invest in an Isa and you're not doing it, it's like throwing away free money. With the tax year end approaching, now is the time to use it or face losing the tax-free benefits altogether." He went on to point out that the forthcoming changes to Isa legislation mean that there will be even more opportunity to make use of tax-free savings.

The study also indicated that just over one in four (27 per cent) savers are unaware that they will be able to change Isa suppliers, with one in six believing that such an option is only available to them at the end of the tax year. Meanwhile, a sixth of those who do have an Isa state that although they have sufficient funds they do not save the full amount allowed.

For those people worried about their capacity to invest into savings schemes, taking out a low-rate loan might be of assistance. Although this may represent another area of expense, by using a loan for the purposes of debt consolidation, borrowers may be able to meet a number of demands on their finances at once, leaving them with a single low-cost monthly repayment. This may leave them with more disposable income, which may be of particular help to people looking to save the full amount into their Isa as the end of the financial year looms. Earlier this month, research conducted by Birmingham Midshires showed that some 69 per cent of Britons saved money during the course of January 2008, up from the 67 per cent recorded in June of last year. However, the actual amount in a savings account fell from 910 pounds to 814 pounds during this period of time.
About the Author
Mark Dawson writes for the the Loan Arrangers where you can compare cheap loans and apply online for UK home loans, and loans for bad credit.
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