Recession inspires new generation of savers

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For businesses in the financial services sector looking at where and how to target their marketing and CRM communications in the coming year, a new survey from consumer insight firm KDB reveals that younger Britons plan on saving more while their elders seek to get their borrowing down.

With the UK still facing tough economic times moving into 2010, 45% of all consumers are determined to boost savings and 56% expect to borrow less. But the youngest respondents were more concerned about putting aside money than older consumers, who were more focused on reducing their loans, according to the research conducted by database marketing and customer analysis specialist KDB in October.

The survey of 1,000 UK consumers found that 68% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they intend to increase their savings, followed by 52% of the 25 to 34 age group. Middle-aged Britons, on the other hand, are least concerned about bolstering their savings, with only 37% of 45 to 54-year-olds saying they will save more in 2010.

While older Britons are less concerned with channelling more cash into savings accounts, the 45 to 54-year age bracket is the most determined to cut back borrowings: 63% will work towards a decrease next year, versus 43% of the more cash-strapped 18 to 24-year-old age group – the least likely demographic to cut their borrowing.

On a regional level, respondents from England are keener on saving more money next year: 46% of respondents in England anticipate putting more into their savings accounts, versus 41% of Welsh respondents and 40% of Scottish respondents. Within England, Londoners have the most serious focus on putting more money aside next year: 55% of respondents from the capital intend to save more in 2010. Consumers in East Anglia are least likely to make saving a priority, with 35% saying they intend to put more money into savings.

The survey was representative of the UK by age, gender, region and social class. Fieldwork was conducted by Lightspeed Research. For graphs with the full figures, see below.

Matt Boot, chief analyst at KDB, comments: “As the UK nears the technical end of recession, the financial sector must pay attention to the lingering impact that the downturn will have on consumer behaviour. After the painful lessons of the past, it is not surprising that recession-stricken consumers are reluctant to take more debt onboard and splash out rather than save.

“By looking at how consumer behaviour is going to change over the course of 2010, the financial industry can tailor its services to mirror the demands and concerns of post-recession Britain. We can now see that young consumers in particular want to save more money next year, whereas older Britons want to decrease their debt instead of putting more aside. These are essential factors to consider when companies allocate marketing spend to communicate with existing and prospective customers.

“Banks and IFAs cannot afford to waste communication opportunities, particularly during a time when marketing budgets are tight. With information about projected consumer behaviour as well as their own customer data, businesses can focus on sending messages targeted to the individual requirements of their customers post-recession. Tailoring products and services to match consumer anxiety will put the industry in a better position to work towards economic rebound alongside its customers.”

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