What you need to know

Savings accounts are the most widely owned financial product after current accounts. Just 19% of people say that they own no savings products. In contrast the investment market remains relatively niche. 72% of people say that they own no investment products. However, these headline ownership statistics create an overly simplistic picture.

In reality the high levels of ownership for savings products are misleading. A large number of savings accounts are either dormant or of very little value. 30% of people own just one savings product and 16% of these individuals say that they currently have no savings or investments. More than a quarter of people say that they have savings of less than £500. This reflects the difficult market conditions of recent years, which have caused long-term shifts in consumer behaviour. It also points to the fact that consumers often underestimate their ability to save, believing that saving is a luxury that only the well-off can afford.

In contrast, whilst fewer people engage in the investment market, these individuals can clearly see the benefits. 28% of investors are confident in their ability to achieve their long-term savings goals, compared to an average of 15%. Highlighting this to non-investors and focusing on improving understanding can help lower the main barrier to investing: consumers’ low tolerance to risk. Digital developments, such as the rise of online direct-to-consumer investment platforms are already tackling the other barriers of perceived complexity and high cost. With these barriers lowered, there is considerable scope for growth in the investment market. 48% of people agree that cash savings alone are not enough to ensure long-term financial security.

Scope of the report

By drawing on Mintel’s exclusively commissioned research, this report examines the savings and investment markets for retail consumers. This considers consumer attitudes towards the savings and investment markets, as well as savings and investment products in the context of market conditions to identify the challenges and opportunities presented to providers operating in this market.

With this in mind, the report looks at: ownership of savings and investment products as well as the value of savings and investments. It also highlights the barriers to investing, consumer savings habits and the influence of the external economic environment on these, as well as features of savings accounts that appeal to individuals. Finally it evaluates overall consumer attitudes towards saving and investing and focuses on how confident people feel about their ability to meet their long-term savings goals.

Back to top