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UK Consumers, Saving and Investing market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Consumers, Saving and Investing market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

What you need to know

The savings environment has been challenging over the last few years, as record-low interest rates have dis-incentivised savers and rising inflation has made it more difficult for people to save. More than half say they haven’t saved as much as they planned over the last 12 months. As such, growth in retail deposits is expected to fall for the first time since 2013 in 2017.

The investment market has faced its own challenges, with the vote to leave the European Union leading to concerns about the future of the UK’s trading environment, putting people off investing. However, the continued poor performance of cash deposits and the introduction of new direct-to-consumer platforms and lower-cost robo-advice have encouraged more people to invest for the first time.

Report scope

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

With this in mind the Report looks at current ownership of savings and investment products as well as the value of people’s savings and investments. It also highlights consumers’ saving and investing priorities, how they manage their savings and investments, the most important factors when choosing a provider and attitudes towards various savings account innovation features.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Jessica Galletley, a leading analyst in the Finance sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Financial pressures will make it increasingly difficult to save going forward. Providers can help people by offering budgeting and financial management tools that can increase engagement and offer insights into where they can make savings. Jessica Galletley
Financial Services Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Report scope
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Savings growth slows in 2017
              • Figure 1: Total retail savings deposits, 2007-17
            • Gross sales of unit trusts and OEICs rise by an estimated 26% in 2017
              • Rising inflation triggers first base rate increase
                • Figure 2: UK’s consumer price index, base rate and average weekly earnings growth, September 2008-September 2017
              • Falling savings ratio
                • Figure 3: Quarterly gross household savings and savings ratio, seasonally adjusted and at current prices, Q1 2013-Q1 2017
              • FCA publishes final report on asset management market study
                • Help to Save aims to improve savings activity
                  • The consumer
                    • Housing situation reflects big differences in savings
                      • Figure 4: Value of savings and investments, October 2017
                    • Standard cash accounts more popular than ISAs
                      • Figure 5: Savings and investment product ownership, October 2017
                    • Emergencies/unexpected events are the most common reason to save
                      • Figure 6: Saving priorities, October 2017
                    • Over half haven’t saved as much as they planned over the last year
                      • Figure 7: Attitudes towards managing savings, October 2017
                    • Online application and management are key for new customers
                      • Figure 8: Important factors when choosing a savings or investment provider, October 2017
                    • Benefits other than interest highlight a chance to personalise products
                      • Figure 9: Interest in new savings account features, October 2017
                    • Rising rates could lead to increased switching activity
                      • Figure 10: Attitudes towards the current savings environment, October 2017
                    • Ability to customise investments is important
                      • Figure 11: Attitudes towards the current investing environment, October 2017
                    • What we think
                    • Issues and Insights

                      • Majority are just trying to meet their savings goals
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Aggregation apps can offer more beneficial insights around savings behaviour
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                  • Savings growth slows in 2017
                                    • Gross sales of unit trusts and OEICs rise by an estimated 26% in 2017
                                      • Rising inflation triggers first base rate increase
                                        • FCA publishes final report on asset management market study
                                          • Help to Save aims to improve savings activity
                                          • Savings and Investment Market Size

                                            • Savings growth slows in 2017
                                              • Figure 12: Total retail savings deposits, 2007-17
                                            • Cash subscriptions fall whilst stocks and shares rise slightly
                                                • Figure 13: Number of ISAs and amounts subscribed, segmented by component type, 2010/11-2016/17
                                              • Gross sales of unit trusts and OEICs rise by an estimated 26% in 2017
                                                • Figure 14: Retail sales of unit trusts and OEICs – UK-domiciled, 2013-17
                                            • The Savings and Investment Environment

                                              • Rising inflation triggers first base rate increase
                                                • Figure 15: UK’s consumer price index, base rate and average weekly earnings growth, September 2008-September 2017
                                              • Some providers failing to pass on increase to customers
                                                • Falling savings ratio
                                                  • Figure 16: Quarterly gross household savings and savings ratio, seasonally adjusted and at current prices, Q1 2013-Q1 2017
                                                • Proportion who say they have saved has fallen
                                                  • Figure 17: Trends in savings activity, June 2012-August 2017
                                                • A fall in confidence could boost saving
                                                • The Regulatory Environment

                                                  • FCA publishes final report on asset management market study
                                                    • Government to publish long-term strategy for asset management industry
                                                      • MiFID II comes into force
                                                        • Help to Save aims to improve savings activity
                                                          • Cash savings market study
                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                            • Housing situation reflects big differences in savings
                                                              • Emergencies/unexpected events are the most common reason to save
                                                                • Over half haven’t saved as much as they planned over the last year
                                                                  • Online application and management are key for new customers
                                                                    • Benefits other than interest highlight a chance to personalise products
                                                                      • Ability to customise investments is important
                                                                      • Value of Savings and Investments

                                                                        • A third have less than £500 or no savings or investments
                                                                          • Employers can do more to increase savings activity
                                                                            • Figure 18: Value of savings and investments, October 2017
                                                                          • Housing situation reflects big differences in savings
                                                                            • Figure 19: Value of savings and investments, by housing situation, October 2017
                                                                        • Savings and Investment Product Ownership

                                                                          • Standard cash accounts more popular than ISAs
                                                                            • Figure 20: Savings and investment product ownership, October 2017
                                                                          • One in five own an investment product
                                                                            • Stocks and shares ISAs offer an entry point for beginners
                                                                              • Figure 21: Savings and investment product ownership, by value of savings and investments, October 2017
                                                                            • Nearly half have two or more savings and investment products
                                                                              • PFM apps can make it easier to manage multiple accounts
                                                                                • Figure 22: Repertoire of savings and investment product ownership, October 2017
                                                                            • Saving Priorities

                                                                              • Emergencies/unexpected events are the most common reason to save
                                                                                • Figure 23: Saving priorities, October 2017
                                                                              • Young Millennials balancing short and long-term savings goals
                                                                                • More focus needs to be placed on saving for retirement
                                                                                  • Figure 24: Saving priorities, by generation, October 2017
                                                                                • 18-24-year-olds have fewer savings goals…
                                                                                  • …whilst 25-34-year-olds need help juggling their savings goals
                                                                                    • Figure 25: Repertoire of saving priorities, by age, October 2017
                                                                                • Savings Management

                                                                                  • Over half haven’t saved as much as they planned over the last year
                                                                                    • Figure 26: Attitudes towards managing savings, October 2017
                                                                                  • Two in five mostly manage their savings via mobile
                                                                                    • Figure 27: Agreement with the statement ‘I mostly manage my savings through mobile banking’, by age, October 2017
                                                                                  • PFMs need to offer the flexibility of people’s own spreadsheet designs
                                                                                    • Figure 28: Agreement with the statement ‘I use a spreadsheet to help me keep track of my saving and investing’, by savings and investment product ownership, October 2017
                                                                                • Choosing a Savings or Investment Provider

                                                                                  • Online application and management are key for new customers
                                                                                    • Figure 29: Important factors when choosing a savings or investment provider, October 2017
                                                                                  • Importance of brand means incumbent brands likely to retain share
                                                                                    • Higher-value savers will demand more
                                                                                      • Figure 30: Important factors when choosing a savings or investment provider, by value of savings and investments, October 2017
                                                                                  • Interest in Savings Account Innovation

                                                                                    • Two in five want product recommendations
                                                                                      • Figure 31: Interest in new savings account features, October 2017
                                                                                    • Benefits other than interest highlight a chance to personalise products
                                                                                      • One in four are interested in goal-based accounts
                                                                                        • Figure 32: Interest in new savings account features, by age, October 2017
                                                                                      • Consumers are open to more communication
                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Saving

                                                                                        • Rising rates could lead to increased switching activity
                                                                                          • Figure 33: Attitudes towards the current savings environment, October 2017
                                                                                        • Open Banking can help people to improve their savings activity
                                                                                          • Figure 34: Response to ‘I plan to save more over the next 12 months than in the last 12 months’, by agreement with ‘I haven't saved as much as I planned to over the last 12 months’, October 2016
                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Investing

                                                                                        • Ability to customise investments is important
                                                                                          • Figure 35: Attitudes towards the current investing environment, October 2017
                                                                                        • Most have not been put off by Brexit uncertainty
                                                                                          • Greater returns mean people still expect to move cash into investments
                                                                                            • Figure 36: Agreement with the statement ‘I expect to move cash savings into investments in the next 12 months’, by age, October 2017
                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                                              • Consumer research methodology