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'Concern Noted' Over Lack Of Savings Awareness

Mar 2, 2008
An increasing number of Britons are uncertain about their financial positioning, a new study indicates.

Research released today (February 18th) by Investec Private Bank shows that 33 per cent of adults, or 11.5 million, do not how much interest they receive on their bank or building society savings accounts. Such a figure represents a rise of four percentage points from the 29 per cent recorded in the same study of July last year. It was also revealed that only about one in five (18 per cent) people know the exact rate of interest on their accounts.

Due to such uncertainties about the rates of interest they receive, it is possible that consumers could find they have less money in savings accounts than previously anticipated. This could lead to them developing difficulties in meeting various demands on their finances in later life, for example mortgage and personal loan repayments.

The study also showed that people are saving less money. Although the proportion of Britons regularly putting cash away stands at 41 per cent, the amount invested per month has fallen from the 284 pounds recorded in July to stand at 233 pounds in January. In addition, consumers living in London are the least likely to know the rate of interest they receive on their savings, with only ten per cent of people from the capital aware of this. Meanwhile, about of a quarter of people both from the north-west (24 per cent) and Wales (25 per cent) know how much they are getting.

Linda McBain, head of banking at Investec Private Bank, claimed: "Our research shows that the proportion of people saving on a regular basis has remained unchanged over the past six months. However, it appears that people are saving less each month as they tighten their belts. This coupled with the fact that a third of savers are unaware of the interest rate they are getting from their bank or building society should be a great cause for concern."

Ms McBain added that although there are numerous savings accounts offering good rates of rate interest, consumers should take the time to research the market and look beyond the headline figure which is advertised. She pointed out that some saving vehicles make "short-term rate promises", with other products based on bonuses.

Research from the financial services firm also showed that men could be best prepared for their financial future. With women putting about 199 pounds aside each month, males were revealed to be saving an average of 70 pounds every four weeks.

For those consumers concerned about their capacity to invest into savings accounts, taking out a debt consolidation loan might prove to be of use. By applying for a low-rate loan borrowers may find they can pay off numerous demands on their spending quickly. This could leave them with more disposable income each month, money which then could be put into saving schemes for the future. In addition, a cheap consolidation loan could be of assistance to those consumers struggling with credit card bills. A recent piece of research by MoneyExpert showed that in the six months leading up to December 21st, 5.09 million consumers (about one in ten) have either been late or missed a demand for payment. Such a figure is up by the 4.16 million noted during the previous half-year period.
About the Author
Mark Dawson writes for the Loan Arrangers. Where visitors can compare UK loans online, and apply for the best rate personal loans and the cheapest consolidation loans available to them.
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