Building Societies working to support savers more immediately in this persistent low interest environment

Posted On: 
12th July 2018

As building societies are major providers of retail savings, we are working to better understand the complex reasons why people don’t save at all or not enough to make themselves financially resilient, says BSA.

This article and today’s debate in the Lords is timely as the Family Resources Survey shows that c 4 in 10 adults (36%) have no savings.  As building societies are major providers of retail savings, we are working to better understand the complex reasons why people don’t save at all or not enough to make themselves financially resilient. 

In June we commissioned independent research by Toynbee Hall which also aims to offer practical thinking about how to incentivise/help more people to save, including the positive role that behavioural techniques and new technologies can play.  We already know that the issue is not simply about whether people can afford to save, as large numbers of people on low incomes do save and many on higher incomes don’t.

Lord Leigh: As a nation we never seem to save enough, this needs to be addressed

Already some societies like the Yorkshire Building Society are encouraging workplace savings.

Yesterday, Nationwide announced its new Open Banking for Good challenge which will launch in September. The fintech community will be invited to develop Open Banking solutions that make a difference to people’s financial lives, in the knowledge that an estimated 85 per cent of adults either own or have access to a smartphone. 

Our sector is also working to support savers more immediately in this persistent low interest environment – in 2017 savers who chose a building society were £775 million better off than those who chose to save their cash with other providers.