East Anglia, and women, top the savings league

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The Independent Online

You've probably heard of the north-south divide in the property market and employment, but it seems it's also reflected in how much money people have squirrelled away.

Research from the Halifax shows that the average customer in the south saves £8,734, 13 per cent more than those in the north, at £7,759. There is a wide variation in average balances between regions; the biggest savers are in East Anglia, with an average balance of £9,172; the lowest balances are in Scotland (£7,332) – a difference of 25 per cent. The average for the UK as a whole is £7,788.

At a local level, the highest average balances are held in South Buckinghamshire (£13,500); followed by Kensington and Chelsea (£13,366) and Mole Valley (£13,002). Eighteen of the top-20 savings areas are in southern England. The nation's lowest savers are in North Lanarkshire, with an average balance of £3,579; more than 50 per cent below the UK average.

Women save a higher proportion of their earnings than men across all regions. "While women typically have slightly higher savings balances then men," says Martin Ellis, of Halifax, "the difference as a proportion of earnings is quite substantial."

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