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No change in spending despite fears

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We are failing to change our spending habits, despite the downturn and economic uncertainty, a survey has shown

The majority of Britons are failing to change their saving and spending habits, despite three-quarters claiming to be worried about their finances, a survey has shown.

Around 76% of people said they were worried about the economy and their financial position, with the same proportion saying they felt less secure about their income in future.

But despite this, 68% admitted they had not changed any of their financial habits, according to high street bank HSBC.

One in five people said they were now saving less than before the recession struck, with just 14% saving more, while 67% said their savings habits had not changed.

At the same time, only 19% said they had cut back on their spending, while 15% said they were actually spending more than previously. Around two-thirds said their spending patterns were the same as before the economic downturn.

There is a similar picture in terms of borrowing, with 69% saying their borrowing habits had remained the same, despite the credit crunch and rising unemployment, although 26% of people said they were now less inclined to borrow, with just 5% more inclined to take on debt.

Richard Brown, head of savings at HSBC, said: “With nearly eight in 10 Britons worried and insecure regarding the current economic turmoil, you would expect them to be spending and borrowing less and saving more.

“However, our research shows that only a minority have actually altered their financial habits. This suggests people either have their heads in the sand and do not realise the need to change, or that they have simply decided to stoically ride out the recession by refusing to alter their ways.”

People in the North West were the least likely to have changed their savings patterns as a result of the economic downturn, with 73% saying they had not changed the amount they set aside, while those in Yorkshire were the least likely to have altered their spending, also at 73%.

Around 79% of people living in the East Midlands said their attitude to borrowing money had not changed as a result of the recession, followed by 75% of people in Yorkshire. Opinion Matters questioned 1,113 people between October 27 and November 1.

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