Pub goers claim to fork out an average of £50 each month for stingy friends, leaving many severely out of pocket.
The results come from CreditExpert, the UK's first online credit monitoring and identity fraud prevention service, at Experian which carried out surveys in ten major city centres across the UK.
While people may lend £50 for things such as pints, kebabs and taxis they claim to only receive £26 in return. These figures suggest that pub scroungers could be creaming off around £24 a month per UK pub goer, the equivalent of £1.1 billion per year.
"It is easy to lose track of our informal lending, especially when we are out and about enjoying ourselves," says Jim Hodgkins, the director of CreditExpert at Experian. "But a fiver here or a drink there soon mounts up, as our survey shows."
He advises drinkers: "Keep your eye on the ball when it comes to your personal finances," and adds: "There is no excuse for not keeping track of your formal credit arrangements."
Despite consumer debt topping the £1 trillion mark in the UK, according to Experian, as few as one in 80 adults have checked their credit report in the last year.
Jim Hodgkins adds: "Keeping a regular check on your credit history is good financial practice. It is easier to maintain a good credit status if you are aware of the information on your credit report."
He concludes by saying: "Something as simple as a missed or late payment can damage your credit status. It's a shame Pub Scroungers are not as easy to track down."DeHavilland Information Services plc