2.6 million "secret savers" hide cash from their partners

The Momentum UK Team 15 July 2013

£2.1 billion is hidden by Brits from their partners in secret savings accounts, according to a survey by Lloyds TSB.

Lloyds TSB’s Family Savings Report found that 63% of couples keep their savings in separate accounts, with the average “secret saver” sitting on a pot of £823.48. The typical saver keeps 28% of their savings hidden from their partner, with young couples keeping 80% of their savings in sole savings accounts.

People who shared a savings account with their partner expected spending decisions to be made jointly; 47% would expect their partner to always tell them when they spent from the joint account, with just 11% saying that their partner would never have to notify them. By contrast, 23% would expect to be told when their partner spent money from their own savings account, and 33% would never expect to be told.

As you might expect, many couples would only expect to be told if their partner spent more than a certain amount: an average of £183 for joint savings and £395 for a partner’s own savings. There was some regional variation on this point; couples in the North West had the tightest rein over their partners’ spending, with an average limit of £79. In the South East the threshold was much higher at £297.

The reasons people gave for hiding savings from their partners also varied. The most common was that they thought their partner would spend it if they knew, with 18% of people giving this reason. Others said that they were keeping the money for “rainy days” (14%), with 12% believing that money shouldn’t be discussed or that it isn’t their partner’s business, and 8% simply saying that it is their money or that they are independent from their partner.

Andy Bickers, Director of Savings at Lloyds TSB, commented on the findings:

“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.”