Nationwide reveals lockdown impact on savings habits

Thirty-seven per cent of UK adults have saved more into a savings account during lockdown than they would have usually, according to Nationwide research.

The building society found that the figure rises to 45% for those between the ages of 18 and 34.

Only 16% noted that they had saved less since lockdown began on 23 March, although Nationwide stated that more than a third (36%) had indicated they wished they’d saved more before the pandemic hit.
The society’s latest Savings Index, a tracked study of savers that used customer data and a poll of 11,668 people across the UK, revealed that 15% have had to dip into their savings as a direct result of COVID-19 – and this jumps to more than a quarter (27%) of those unemployed.

However, 39% of those who have used their savings, or their children’s savings, indicated it will take longer than six months to recoup the money spent.
Nationwide suggested that its Index highlights the impact of the pandemic weighing heavily on the nation’s mind. In terms of the two major challenges facing the UK – COVID-19 and Brexit – the research showed that 65% in the UK think the pandemic is more concerning for their personal finances, while 21% believe Brexit is the bigger threat. 

“There’s no doubt that the impacts of COVID-19 have been felt across the savings market,” Nationwide director of banking and savings, Tom Riley, commented. “While we’ve seen people wish they’d saved more prior to the pandemic, some are clearly trying to leave their savings alone.

“We’ve also seen people feeling broadly positive about savings for the future, with an increasing number opening up about their finances with their partner. Whether this is the start of a new savings culture remains to be seen, although the pandemic has certainly made us look at the need for a financial buffer for a range of reasons.

“Interestingly, a large portion have changed their savings habits as a direct result of the pandemic, so we may well see a shift in the nation’s savings culture over the coming months as new savings routines begin to stick.”

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