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Bank Balance? More like Blank Balance…

Britons’ lax monitoring of their money is putting £43.3 billion and wellbeing at risk

New research released today has revealed that only one in ten (14%) Britons polled in a new study would immediately notice if £1,000 went missing from their account.

When calculated at a national level, this figure amounts to an estimated £43.3 billion* in unwatched money, highlighting the careless way Britons currently monitor their finances.

Almost a quarter (21%) only check their bank balance once a month.
Almost one in five (16%) of Britons have “finance-phobia”, admitting that they are too afraid to check their balance
Over a quarter of Britons (28%) stated that they suffer sleepless nights over their finances

Britons’ money management found to be limited

A third (32%) of those polled stated that their knowledge of their bank balance was poor.
16% stated that they knew more about celebrity and sport trivia than their bank balance.
Around half (56%) of Britons check their bank balance once a week.
However, over one in four (28%) Britons believe that a better knowledge of household finances would help them wear the trousers in their relationship

The study, commissioned by mobile banking service Monilink, also demonstrates the impact of poor money management in the UK.

Alastair Lukies, chief executive of Monilink said “These findings suggest consumers need all the help they can get to keep tabs on their money. Poor money management and existence of ‘Finance-phobia’ in Britain is worrying considering the rising levels of debt problems Britons face”

Lack of money management contributing to the growth of British debt and overdrafts

Over a third (38%) of those polled admitted they had gone accidentally overdrawn due to a lack of knowledge about their bank balance. Women (41%) and those aged between 25 -34 (48%) were the worst offenders.
Almost one in five (18%) of people stated that each time they went overdrawn, this was by a sum of £300 or more.
Those who never checked their balance were almost twice as likely to go overdrawn by £300 or more than those who checked every week (16% compared to 30%).
Card and bank account fraud amounted to £423 million in 2007*, but only 13% of those polled currently worry about illegal withdrawals on their account.

Impact of the lack of financial control on Britons’ wellbeing

31% of women and 22% of men polled suffer sleepless nights over their finances.
The 25-34 age group emerged as the most stressed, with 35% losing sleep over their poor money management.
Almost half of Britons (41%) would like to feel more in control of their finances.
One in ten (8%) of those felt their finances are actively out of control. Women were most concerned about this, with (44%) wanting more control.
25–34 year olds again emerged as the leading problem group with 12% feeling their money management was out of control.

British ‘carefree’ attitude to going into debt revealed

One in ten (9%) of those polled would go overdrawn to buy something wanted but didn’t need, with 25 -34year olds being were most prone to this behaviour (15%).
When questioned about debt-threatening overspending, the most common unessential treats were food and drink (52%), 31% luxury goods purchases (cars, watches, etc) and clothes (19%).
When comparing genders, women’s favourite area of overspending was food and drink (55%). This was followed by luxury items e.g. jewellery (24%) and clothes (23%)
Men were most likely to overspend on luxury goods (46%), followed by food and drink (45%) and clothes (10%)

Launch of mobile banking offers busy Britons a money management lifeline

One in five (19%) of those prone to going overdrawn stated that easier access to their bank balance would help them stay in the black.
Of those who check their balance every day, 64% never go overdrawn.

Alastair Lukies said “As mobiles are also more widespread in the UK than PC’s, UK banks have woken up to the fact that mobile banking represents the future. Internet banking is OK if you are sat at a desk, but not so good when in the middle of a shop working out whether you can afford a purchase”

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