Recession ‘has Not Changed Saving Spending or Borrowing Habits’

The uncertain economic climate has failed to change the saving, spending and borrowing habits of UK consumers, new figures have shown.Research by HSBC has found a disparity between what Britons say and do, as 76 per cent stated they are worried about their fiscal situation but 68 per cent have yet to adapt their financial habits.

Almost one-fifth of the population are putting less money into savings accounts, despite the attractive bond rates available.The study found that twice as many consumers aged between 18 and 24 have changed their savings habits compared to those over 55, with 57 per cent claiming that the recession has altered their behaviour.

More than a third said they are putting more money into their savings account, while 23 per cent said they are saving less due to the uncertain economic climate.In terms of spending on credit cards and other facilities, women have adopted a much more proactive attitude to reducing their average outlay than men.Just over a fifth said they are spending less compared to 17 per cent of men, with the younger generation leading the way again.

More than two-thirds of Britons said that they have not changed their borrowing habits in any way, while 26 per cent said they are less inclined to borrow and six per cent are borrowing more.Richard Brown, head of savings for HSBC, said that despite the majority of people claiming to be concerned about their financial situation, the figures show that many have failed to take steps to address the issue.

“This suggests people either have their heads in the sand and do not realise the need to change or that they have simply decided to stoically ride out the recession by refusing to alter their ways,” he added.One way in which consumers could alter their financial habits is by learning to shop around for the best prices on products such as personal loans.

Joanna Parsley, associate director of Credit Action, said it is imperative to do so to ensure that a product is the most suitable of all the available options.