Consumers are planning to save more this year

KBC Bank Ireland has released new research showing how consumer savings patterns and priorities have changed in the period 2014 to 2018.

Overall, the new research shows that the number of people with a savings account in 2018 has risen from 79 per cent in 2014 to 82 per cent. Specifically, more females and people younger than 45 now have savings accounts compared to January, 2014. With six in 10 planning to save more this year, those with a savings account also have more concrete savings plans than those without one.

The research shows that more people with a savings account are putting aside money at planned, regular intervals than before. Almost a quarter of those surveyed now save a set amount weekly, while 37 per cent are putting aside a set amount every month, a significant jump from 29 per cent in 2014.

There has been a shift in some of the motivation for saving. When opening a savings account, more than four in 10 have a specific savings goal. While ensuring they have a financial safety net still tops the list - a lesson from the recession - opening a savings account specifically for saving for a home, holidays, or a car is on the rise.

That said, those who cited having “a financial safety net” as their main priority in 2014 (35 per cent ) has fallen to 28 per cent, and the number of those motivated to save owing to “uncertainty about the future” in 2014 (30 per cent ) has halved to 14 per cent in 2018. The numbers saving for children’s education (eight per cent ) or a long-term nest egg (eight per cent ) remains largely unchanged.

When asked to describe their savings plan for 2018, almost one-third said they were planning to save “much more” and 29 per cent “a little more” than they did the year before.

Fergal O’Riagain, director of products, KBC Bank Ireland, said: “Our research shows that savings remain a priority for consumers, with more people saving and saving more regularly. We know from our business that retail customers are moving into investments as part of a wider savings plan, be that saving for a new home, a family’s future needs or retirement at a future date.

"With Rabobank customers now looking for an alternative, KBCs Extra Regular Saver account is one of the most competitively priced in the market today. I would encourage anyone reviewing their savings and investments needs to get in touch and see how KBC can help. Call into one of our 16 hubs, contact us online and over the phone.”

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