By Daniel Hunter

In the UK, we are seeing the emergence of a new generation of ‘secret savers’ as the average UK couple now keeps 63% of their savings and investments in sole accounts, according to the latest findings from the Lloyds TSB Family Savings Report.

The report highlights a long-term shift to greater independence in couples’ finances.

Nearing half (47%) of those who have a joint account with a partner would expect their partner to always let them know when they spent from the account

At the same time, just over one in ten (11%) say their partner would never have to tell them before spending their joint savings money
However, when it comes to a partner’s own savings, nearing a quarter (23%) still expect to be notified every time the partner spends from their savings, while a third (33%) would never expect to be told.

Many couples would only expect to be notified about spending when their partner spends over a certain amount, with an average of £183 spending limit for jointly owned savings and £395 for a partner’s own savings. Couples in the North West also have the tightest reign on each others’ access to shared savings, with an average of £79 before the partner expects to be notified. This compares to £297 in the South East, who allow their partners a considerably bigger spend before expecting to be consulted.

The research shows that 12% of people in the UK keep some of their savings secret from their partner, while 6% of people keep some income secret from their partner. The research highlights that the highest amount of secret savings is in Northern Ireland (19%), and the West Midlands (15%), compared to the lowest amount of secret savings in the North East (4%) and the South East (9%).

The research also suggests that the typical secret saver keeps between a quarter and a third of their savings secret from their partner, averaging 28% of their savings.

The most common motivation for couples keeping secret savings was because they felt the partner would spend the money if they knew (18%). The second most common was keeping the money for emergencies or ‘rainy days’ (14%). Others believed money should not be discussed or it ‘is not the partners’ business’ (12%), while some simply suggest that it is their own money or are independent from their partner (8%).

“With nearing two thirds of UK couples and four in five young couples now keeping their savings in sole accounts, we are starting to see a long-term shift towards people wanting to remain in financial control," Andy Bickers, Director of Savings at Lloyds TSB, commented.

"Putting aside money remains a positive step for all and ISA accounts continue to be the best way to save tax free and get more for your money.”

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