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North-south divide still exists with savings

North-south divide still exists with savings

Savers in the south of England are still putting more money away than their northern counterparts, a new survey has suggested.

According to research from Halifax, customers in southern England have managed to save an average balance of £10,003, far ahead of the £9,128 being put away in northern areas of England and Wales.

The disparity is not exclusive to the north-south divide either as there are also a number of noticeable differences between regions.

The savviest savers are in the east, notching up an average balance of £10,686, while the lowest average balances are in the north east (£8,606), below the overall average of £9,592 for the whole of England and Wales.

No capital gains

Yet despite the south leading the way in terms of savings, it still has six of the ten lowest saving areas, all of which are in the capital. They include Hackney (£5,416), Newham (£5,455), Barking and Dagenham (£6,000) and Lewisham (£6,198).

However, the rest of the top ten is completed by Manchester (£5,852), Corby (£6,327), Hull (£6,418) and Blaenau Gwent in south Wales (£6,533).

Battle of the sexes

Nationally, women were found to be better savers than men, putting away £9,808 as opposed to £9,533, a difference of just three per cent.

The biggest differential is in the south east (six per cent) and London (five per cent) where women have a higher average savings balance than their male counterparts.

Indeed, the north east was the only region where men out-saved women, although the margin was only one per cent.

Female savers in the UK have an average savings balance equivalent to 48 per cent of their gross annual earnings, despite male annual earnings still on being on average two-thirds higher.

However, women clearly make the most of their earnings, with research finding that they managed to save at least half of their wage in seven regions, including the south west (54 per cent), followed by the east midlands (53 per cent), and the east and Yorkshire and the Humber (both 52 per cent)

The lowest levels of savings relative to earnings were found to be in London for both women and men (35 and 21 per cent respectively).

Richard Fearon, head of Halifax Savings, said: “There are wide variations in savings behaviour across the country; typically savers in the south have an average balance that is ten per cent higher than in the north. It is also notable that the amount of savings held by women as a proportion of their earnings is over half in several regions.

“Saving habits can differ greatly, with many savers putting away spare cash for an event such as a holiday or wedding, however, it is still important to plan for the long-term future, such as saving for retirement, particularly as average life expectancy is rising.”

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