Britain’s savings levels rise over the year

  • NS&I’s Quarterly Savings Survey reveals savings levels have increased over the 2015/16 financial year.
  • Women continue to outpace men in terms of savings levels.

Savings levels in Britain have risen over the last six months, putting the 2015/16 financial year as the healthiest since the Quarterly Savings Survey records began in Autumn 2004, new research from NS&I reveals.

In the 2015/16 financial year, Britons saved, on average, 8% of their average income each month, a shade behind the record 8.04% saved in the 2014/15 financial year overall. In terms of cash saved, however, they saved £1 more over the year, putting aside £107 each month, representing the highest amount saved per head over the course of a year since NS&I’s Quarterly Savings Survey started over 11 years ago.

In Summer 2015, a fifth (20%) of Britons reckoned they were more or much more likely to save money over the next quarter, and overall 78% said they were likely to maintain or increase their level of savings. These forecasts proved to be correct as there was an increase leading into Autumn last year, with Britons saving, on average, 8.18% as a percentage of their average income and £110 as an average saved per head.

The recent trend over the last five years of the Quarterly Savings Survey showed that Winter’s savings levels tended to be higher than Autumn’s, and this has also proved to be the case this year: Britons, by the end of the financial year, were saving 8.27% as a percentage of their income each month, but the monetary figure saved remained relatively static at £109.

Savings levels over 2015/16 financial year

  Amount saved as a percentage of average income Average saved per head
Spring 7.81% £105
Summer 7.75% £105
Autumn 8.18% £110
Winter 8.27% £109
2015/16 Average 8.00% £107

 

Women’s savings levels at their highest ever, while they continue to narrow the savings gap

2015/16 has been the financial year that women have made significant progress in narrowing the savings gap – saving more, on average, as a percentage of their income each month than men. Month on month, women have saved continually more, while men’s savings levels have fluctuated over the year (see table below).

Women finished the 2015/16 financial year on a high, saving more as a percentage of their income in Winter 2015/16 (8.68%) than at any point since the Quarterly Savings Survey began in the 2004/05 financial year. This equated to £95 saved in Winter 2015/16, a rise in total of £3 since the start of the year and the second highest monetary figure saved for women ever recorded, only topped by  last  Winter’s (2014/15), £100.

  Men Women
Spring 7.66% (£117) 8.05% (£92)
Summer 7.57% (£118) 8.07% (£92)
Autumn 8.13% (£126) 8.31% (£93)
Winter 7.98% (£124) 8.68% (£95)
2015 Average 7.84% (£121) 8.28% (£93)

Jill Waters, Retail Director at NS&I, said:

“Traditionally we have seen that men have been the stronger savers, but now women are putting more of their income away each month. We are seeing that this is causing an upward trend in overall savings levels and hope that this continues in the years to come.”

Not all good news

Despite Britons saving more in monetary terms than ever before, there is still an increasing number  who either don’t have any savings, or make no savings month on month. Latest figures for Winter 2015/16, show that as many as 16% of Britons do not have any savings, with women leading this trend – 18%, while 14% of men admit to not having any savings. These latest figures represent the highest numbers over the financial year, and are far higher than those recorded this time last year.

Those who don’t have any savings

Quarter Overall Men Women
Winter 2015/16 16% 14% 18%
Autumn 2015 13% 11% 15%
Summer 2015 15% 13% 16%
Spring 2015 15% 14% 16%
Winter 2014/15 12% 11% 13%


There is a similar story for those who do not make any savings each month. Almost a quarter of Britons (23%) say they do not put any money into savings month on month and the gender split is fairly equal between men (22%) and women (24%). Once again, these are the highest levels seen over the course of this financial year and are significantly higher than those recorded in Winter 2014/15.

No savings per month

Quarter Overall Men Women Age group

most

Region most Region least
Winter 2015/16 23% 22% 24% 45-54, 55-64 – 28% North West, South East, Wales – 25% North East, Yorkshire and Humberside – 19%
Autumn 2015 17% 15% 20% 45-54 – 22% North East – 24% Greater London -14%
Summer 2015 21% 20% 22% 35-44 – 25% South West – 30% Yorkshire and Humberside, East Anglia – 16%
Spring 2015 19% 18% 20% 45-54 – 23% Scotland, South West, Wales – 22% Greater London -14%
Winter 2014/15 16% 16% 17% 55-64 – 21% Wales -25% Greater London, Yorkshire and Humberside – 13%

 

An outlook for 2016/17

It remains to be seen what the prospects are for the 2016/17 financial year, as there hasn’t been a defining trend in the last five years between savings levels in Winter and the forthcoming Spring, but last year saw a drop in savings as we entered the new financial year (Winter 2014/15 – 8.52%, £114 / Spring 2015 – 7.81%, £105). This was despite just over a fifth of Britons (21%) in Winter 2014/15 saying they expected to save more in the next three months.

This year a fifth of Britons (20%) expect to save more over the coming quarter, while a further 56% think that there will be no difference when it comes to their savings habits. Only 15% of Britons think they are less likely to save in the three months until Spring.

Jill Waters, Retail Director at NS&I, continued:

“This year has been a good year for saving but we want the New Financial Year to be even better. For those Britons who don’t have any savings or do not put any money away into savings month on month, we would suggest that even putting away a small amount of money each month helps build a good savings habit and doing this regularly will really help when saving for a particular financial goal.

“We hope that the three quarters of Britons who have said that they expect to maintain or improve their current levels of saving act on that statement, and get the New Year’s savings figures off to a solid start”

Notes to Editors

The Autumn 2015 NS&I Savings Survey was conducted by TNS among 2,469 British adults aged 16+ between 5 and 12 November 2015. The Winter 2015/16 NS&I Savings Survey was conducted by TNS among 2,441 British adults aged 16+ between 4 and 11 February 2016. The samples have been weighted to represent the adult population of Britain.

About NS&I

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