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The UK’s savings habits: active savers

22% of Brits with who are fortunate enough to have money to invest are planning to open a savings account in the next 12 months – even with inflation hikes and an ongoing cost-of-living crisis. But how have rising interest rates impacted the behaviour of ‘active savers’?

We take a look at YouGov’s recent report into the UK’s saving habits.

Who are active savers?

Active savers are those with investable wealth and assets who are planning to open a savings account in the next 12 months. YouGov research shows that compared to the national average, active savers are more likely to:

  • live in the south of the UK;
  • be male;
  • be aged between 18-39; and
  • belong to the higher income bracket.

Active savers are also typically more optimistic about their future financial situation than the general UK population.

Financial priorities: have they changed?

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK in 2020, priorities have shifted towards saving for the future. Brits with investible assets have reduced paying off their debts by 12% and increased their saving by 9%. Total savings with a value of £500+ in a year have shown significant growth amongst this demographic, with gradual increases in the proportions saving over £20,000 a year, whilst the proportion of those saving less than £499 has dropped by 11% since 2019.

Reasons for saving

Everybody has a different reason for saving, which typically dictates their financial behaviour. Active savers are prioritising the future, with 41% of YouGov’s active-saver respondents noting their reason for opening a savings account as retirement – which is more than double that of the general population (19%).

How are active savers saving?

Flexible savings products are on the rise, with instant access savings products seeing the greatest increase year-on-year – growing 10% since 2020. Opening a savings account (including a cash ISA) has also seen the most notable increase in the 2021-2024 review period, climbing 6% compared to other financial actions such as increasing pension contributions (1%) and taking out a mortgage (no change). Premium and fixed-rate savings bonds, as well as stocks and shares that are separate from an ISA, are also popular among active savers.