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More Brits stash the cash

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Research by Birmingham Midshires has revealed the number of people putting money aside is greater than this time last year.

The Saving Britain report – a public awareness campaign which has been running since 2002, and which explores people’s attitudes towards savings and money management – has found that the number of people saving over the past year has increased by 3% and the amount they are setting aside has remained stable, despite facing a more challenging financial landscape this January compared to last.

Jason Robinson, director of savings operations at Birmingham Midshires, said “While the economic climate has led to a tightening of budgets among households throughout Britain, we are delighted to see that people are getting into the savings habit and are maintaining the amount they set aside each month.

“While many people in Britain may be finding life a little tougher this January compared to last, it is even more important that those with savings are on the lookout for savings accounts that make their money work the hardest for them.

“2007 was dubbed the year of the saver as the competition in the savings market really hotted up. However, we predict that 2008 will also lend itself well to savers. We advise savvy savers to keep an eye on such accounts to make sure they are getting the best rate available.”

Across the regions, the figures are broadly encouraging. Eight out of the 10 regions listed below have more savers this year compared to last who are saving more money than before.

Scotland is the most successful savings region with its savers squirreling away 175% more this January compared to January 2007. Scotland is closely followed by Lancashire, whose savers set aside £778 over the past three months – a 169% increase compared to last year.

Robinson concluded: “We recommend that savers should have the equivalent of three months’ salary in their savings account – in order to account for any financial emergencies that could arise. While we are pleased that our figures suggest that more people are savings year on year, given that the average UK income estimated at £22,000, a savings pot of £814 is nowhere near enough.

“While times are tough on the purse strings at the moment, savings should remain a key budgeting priority to ensure longer-term financial security.” 



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