Global Financial Behaviour: Savings Accounts

Ownership of a savings account is a good indication both of disposable income and of consumer financial prudence. In the key western European markets, France and Germany are the most frugal, with 80% and 73% of consumers respectively owning a savings account, compared to 61% in Britain and 57% in Spain. For Germany, this may seem at odds with figures revealing that German consumers are particularly likely (compared to those in neighbouring markets) to believe that they are no good at saving money. But it appears likely that it is this very belief that makes them leading savers. If they are in a cycle of self-guilt, believing they could be saving more, then they are more likely to be doing something about it.

Saving in some of the BRICS looks very different to Europe. For example, in China, 87% of adults have a savings account and in Brazil the figure is 56%, revealing just how great a proportion of their citizens are in a position to set money aside. In Russia however, there is less of a culture of opening savings accounts - only 12% of adults have one.

We can get a clearer picture of the culture of saving in different markets by looking at how long consumers have had savings accounts.

In Europe, again, it is German consumers who are clearly the European saving champions, with 37% of them having had a savings account for more than 10 years, compared to 31% of Spanish and only 18% of Brits. This is also reflected in the regularity of their saving. 41% of Germans pay in to savings accounts every month, compared to 30% of Brits and 28% of Spanish.

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