UK SAVINGS CRISIS - NEARLY ONE IN FIVE UK ADULTS HAVE LESS THAN £100 IN SAVINGS

  • Around a fifth of (19%)[i] UK adults have less than £100 in savings according to new research by Yorkshire Building Society
  • Figures also reveal the widening of the UK’s financial wellbeing gap, with the number of people not saving at all almost doubling in the last two years with more than one in five (21%) people not saving now compared to just over one in ten (12%) in 2019[ii]
  • However, a fifth (20%) have increased their monthly savings during the coronavirus pandemic
  • The research forms part of Yorkshire Building Society ambition to help 1.8m more people to save by 2024


New figures released today (15 June) highlight the fragility of people’s finances across the country with almost one in five (19%) UK adults, more than 10.3 million people, having less than £100 in savings.

The research by Yorkshire Building Society also revealed that more than one in ten (13%) UK adults have no savings at all and more than a quarter (26%) of UK Brits admitting to having less than £500 in savings.

The figures also call attention to the UK’s widening financial wellbeing gap – the gap between non-savers and savers - as the number of people not saving at all has almost doubled over the last two years with more than one in five (21%) people not saving anything in 2021 compared to just over one in ten (12%) in 2019.

Conversely at the other end of the scale there are signs of increased savings activity in light of the coronavirus pandemic, with many people seeing their savings growing under lockdown. A fifth (20%) of people have increased their monthly savings and more than one in seven (17%) have reduced their outstanding debt during the outbreak.  

The Office for Budget Responsibility has also estimated that Britons will have collectively stashed away £180bn by the middle of this year due to the pandemic.

Tina Hughes, Director of Savings at Yorkshire Building Society said:

Our new research continues to highlight just how fragile many people’s finances are with the shocking figure that nearly a fifth of all UK adults have less than £100 in savings. It also shows the further widening of the financial wellbeing gap in the UK. While we know it can be hard for people to put money away, especially with rising living costs and in a low interest environment, we mustn’t overlook the impact saving has on people’s financial and mental wellbeing.

The Society’s research also highlighted the considerable impact financial wellbeing has on peoples mental health, with more than a fifth (22%) of people having sleepless nights due to money worries, two fifths (40%) feeling stressed about their financial situation and more than a third (35%) of people feeling the Covid-19 pandemic had increased their stress levels when it came to money.

Tina continued:

One of the things the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated is that anyone could find themselves in financial difficulties and may need to rely on savings, which is why we want to continue to help people build a healthy savings pot and improve their financial wellbeing to protect themselves from any sudden and unexpected changes to their situation.

Now more than ever, with current and potential future economic uncertainty, it’s important for people to try and build their financial resilience and for us as a Society to help people to save. Money worries can make people anxious, so we want them to know they don’t have to suffer in silence and we’re here to help them manage their money during difficult times.

The Society surveyed people across the country as part of its ongoing campaign to improve financial resilience – with a goal of getting an additional 1.8 million non-savers to start putting money away by 2024.

Yorkshire Building Society has a range of support tools available online for people to budget and take practical steps to saving more. For more information visit www.ybs.co.uk.

All information correct at time of publication.

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[i] Yorkshire Building Society Financial Resilience survey: The research was carried out online by Opinium. All surveys were conducted between 7th May 2021 and 11th May 2021 and the sample comprised 2,000 UK adults.

[ii] The research was carried out online by Research Without Barriers – RWB. All surveys were conducted between 8th May 2019 and 14th May 2019 and the sample comprised 2,014 UK adults.

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