Wednesday 23 June 2021 6:02 pm

Wealth gap: One in four Brits have less than £500 in savings

Around one in five adults in the UK has less than £100 in savings, according to new research shared with City A.M. this evening.

One in seven people have no savings to fall back on at all and more than a quarter have less than £500 put away.

Indicating a widening gap in the UK’s financial wellbeing, a similar proportion of people have managed to increase their monthly savings during the coronavirus pandemic.

The research was carried out for Yorkshire Building Society. It found that 21 per cent of people are not currently saving, compared with 12 per cent when similar research was carried out in 2019.

More positively, nearly a fifth (17 per cent) of people surveyed have reduced their outstanding debt during the pandemic.

Tina Hughes, director of savings at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “This research continues to highlight just how fragile many people’s finances are with the shocking figure that nearly a fifth of all UK adults have less than £100 in savings.”

Impact on mental health

The society highlighted the impact financial wellbeing has on people’s mental health, with more than a fifth of people having sleepless nights due to money worries, two-fifths feeling stressed about their finances and more than a third feeling that the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has increased their stress levels.

“While we know it can be hard for people to put money away, especially with rising living costs and in a low interest environment, we mustn’t overlook the impact saving has on people’s financial and mental wellbeing,” Hughes said.

“Money worries can make people anxious, so we want them to know they don’t have to suffer in silence and we’re here to help them manage their money during difficult times,” she added.

The society commissioned a survey of 2,000 people across the UK in May. The survey is part of an ongoing campaign to improve financial resilience, with a goal of getting an additional 1.8m non-savers to start putting money away by 2024.