Wednesday 12 December 2018

Number of people with savings accounts rising while majority plan to put more away this year

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Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

NEW research shows that the number of people with a savings account has risen.

More women are saving and people under the age of 45 are putting money aside.

Most people say they are planning to save more this year, according to the research commissioned by KBC Bank.

More than eight out of 10 people now have a savings account, according to the research carried out by Core for the bank.

Six in 10 people are planning to save more this year. Unsurprisingly, the research indicates that those with a savings account also have more concrete savings plans than those without a savings account.

And regular saving appears to be popular now, the survey indicates.

Almost a quarter of those surveyed now save a set amount weekly, up from the number in 2014.

More than a third of people are putting aside a set amount every month.

There has been a shift in some of the motivation for saving.

When opening a savings account, more than four in 10 have a specific savings goal.

The reasons for saving including getting a deposit for a home, holidays, and putting money aside for a car.

The numbers saying they need a financial safety net has fallen back from 2014, when austerity measures were in full swing.

And there has been a fall in the numbers motivated to save due to uncertainty about the future, an indication that consumers are feeling a little more confident about their personal finances.

Director of products at KBC Bank Fergal O’Riagain said the research shows savings remain a priority for consumers, with more people saving and saving more regularly.

He said the bank knows from its business that retail customers are moving into investments as part of a wider savings plan, be that saving for a new home, a family’s future needs or retirement at a future date.

The findings that more people are squirrelling away cash comes despite savers being dealt a new blow after savings bank RaboDirect confirmed it was closing down.

The online savings bank, which traditionally paid some of the highest savings rates in the country, said it would cease its operations here and close on May 16.

RaboDirect said this followed a decision by its Dutch parent Rabobank Group to simplify its business model across the world and reduce costs.

The deposit taker set up here in 2005, and has more than 90,000 customers with over €3bn on deposit.

It hoovered up deposits during the banking collapse here, as its parent was AAA rated by credit ratings agencies.

The announcement comes at a time when many banks are paying interest rates on savings that are at record low levels.

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