British families save a far smaller proportion of their income than than those in Germany or China, a report from Lloyds reveals.
Britain's household savings ratio, (the proportion of disposable income put into savings) has fallen over the past few decades. During the recession that ratio shot back up to around 7 per cent in the UK and has stayed there since.
But that figure is still lower than Germany, where on average 10 per cent of disposable income goes into savings. In China, the savings ratio has soared from 27 per cent to 47 per cent in the decade to 2011. This high level of savings is said to reflect the lack of a social security safety net in China.
China's high domestic savings ratio is also matched by a widespread prevalence of saving: only 3 per cent of Chinese adults has no form of savings, investments or pensions wealth at all. This compares with 11 per cent of UK citizens.
"While these findings should, perhaps, not be surprising, they are still remarkable," said Greg Coughlan, the head of savings at Lloyds TSB. "Despite significantly higher incomes, the British and Germans are being roundly beaten in the savings stakes by urban Chinese households."