Women are spending it for themselves, says Marks & Spencer Money

20 June 2005
Women have made staggering progress in becoming more financially independent, with a third of all British women now standing entirely on their own financial feet.

A report from Marks & Spencer Money launched on the company's 20th anniversary reveals that today 7.2 million British women are wholly financially independent - a phenomenal rise of 47 per cent on figures for 1985.

Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of women today earn the same as or more than their partner, as the pay gap narrows to bring women's salaries more in line with men's.

When it comes to financial products, women are also thinking for themselves. The number of women owning a debit card has doubled, with 59 per cent of women now holding one, compared to 30 per cent in 1987.

More women are also taking out mortgages, Marks & Spencer Money found. Where less than ten per cent of mortgages were taken out by women in 1983, now almost a quarter (23.1 per cent) are.

"We have the highest proportion of female credit card holders in the UK, so we commissioned this report to understand better women's financial needs," said David MacKay, commercial director of Marks & Spencer Money.

"The report shows that women have moved on significantly in the 20 years since we launched the M&S Chargecard, which may have been the first card for many of them."

According to the report, women are now also the main bill payers, arranging payments for utility bills, credit card bills and phone bills.

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