British savers £3,000 worse off since 2010

Savings jar

British households have seen their cash savings plummet by £3,000 over the past five years thanks to inflation.

Henderson Global Investors, which did the number crunching, found that since 2010 money languishing in cash accounts fell by a collective £80 billion - or £3,000 per household, due to the rise sin the cost of living.

In the four-year period between 2010 and 2014 alone, inflation (as measured by the retail prices index) was 19.8%. This means the £36 billion earnt in interest by cash savers during that time was easily dwarfed by the £116 billion eaten away by inflation.

Henderson added that there were wide variations in the amount of money people who have saved have put away and some savers have experienced "very severe" losses.

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Cost of living doubled

Since 1990, the cost of living has more than doubled in the UK (122%), while deposits in instant-access accounts have earned only 69% in compound interest. Henderson explained that this is a loss of £240 in real terms on £1,000 invested in 1990.

It added that in only five of the last 25 years have instant-access account interest rates exceeded inflation, meaning savers had an 80% chance of seeing their cash fall in value in any one year in real terms.

Over the same 25-year period, the investment manager said the total return on UK equities was 700% and on global equities it was 470%. Meanwhile, house price grew by 289% and wages by 163%, according to official stats.

Moreover, the group found that a third of people have no savings at all.

James de Sausmarez, head of investment trusts at Henderson, said: "Human beings are hard-wired to avoid loss. It's a cognitive bias that is hard to overcome when we consider our savings. This flaw in our thinking compels us to cling to the nominal cash value of our savings, so in recoiling from taking investment risks, we unwittingly suffer the corrosive effect of inflation.

"Our research shows you can be near certain you will lose money over the longer term by putting your savings in cash accounts, as the cost of living, and expectations for living standards will quickly climb out of reach of the paltry returns on cash deposits. It's costing us billions of pounds every year."

Your Comments

Whilst accepting the basic premise of the above article it could be better "lose money" when  "lose value." is meant.
Also comment about about "one third" having no savings merely means the article is only relevant to the other two thirds. It could even be suggested that the third have done better by spending their cash ather than waitng for it to lose value!