Britain’s savings far outweighs its debt, says Alliance and Leicester

25 July 2007
Savings and equity amongst Britons has totalled £5.1 trillion, which is nearly four times more than other debt, including mortgages, which amounts to £1.3 trillion, according to Alliance and Leicester.

Homes represent the largest portion of assets at £4.3 trillion, and Brits have stashed away £820 billion in savings. If pensions and other assets such as property investments are also factored in, then the total climbs another £1.8 trillion, far surpassing the debt to which so much attention is given.

Whilst Alliance and Leicester’s survey reveals the level of assets held, it also shows that this wealth is far from evenly distributed throughout the country, illustrating the division between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.

More than half of the nation’s assets are owned by people living south of Watford, but they account for only 39% of households. Two million is owned by those living in London, the South East and the South West of England. This cannot even be explained by house prices, which also account for a disproportionate 46% of the entire nation’s savings.

Despite comprising a seventh of all households, just one tenth of national assets are owned by the Scots and Welsh. In addition to geographical divisions, the survey also reveals age patterns, with to thirds of the nation’s wealth in the hands of those over the age of 55, and just 9% owned by the under 35s.

Ewan Edwards, Head of Savings & Investments at Alliance & Leicester comments, “Britons are increasingly losing the savings habit. On average we are saving just 2.1% of our disposable income – compared to 6% on average over the last ten years, itself low by historic standards. This despite the fact that wages have risen faster than inflation including housing costs. Yet having a savings pot put by can make all the difference to quality of life and the choices open to us.”

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