£1.5bn* wallowing in the ‘bank of pig’

24 May 2017
  • 35.7 million people regularly stash their cash in a piggy bank or coin jar;
  • The average piggy bank or coin jar contains £43.70;
  • 58% of coin jar savers think it’s a good way to save;
  • Only 55% of UK adults make regular savings into a bank or building society account;
  • Coin jar savers reminded to spend or change old style £1 coins before they cease to be legal tender.

The Nation’s piggy banks and coin jars are crammed with an estimated £1.5bn of loose change and notes, according to new research from GoCompare Money**.

The survey found that significantly more people drop money into a piggy bank or coin jar than make regular savings into a bank or building society account.  35.7 million Brits collect cash in a piggy bank or coin jar, compared with 26.9m who make regular savings into a bank or building society account.       

Coin jar savings are more popular with women than men.  The survey found that 78% of women have coin jar savings compared with 68% of men.  But, the average contents of men’s piggy banks are higher than women’s - £48.78 for men compared with £39.53 for women.  The figures for bank and building society account savings were also slightly higher for men (56%) than women (54%).   

When asked why they collect money in a piggy bank or penny jar, 58% said they thought it was a good way to save; over half (53%) did so because they simply don’t like carrying around loose change; while just under a quarter (24%) use the savings for treats; 14% use coin jars to save for something specific; 12% said they thought it was a waste of time putting money into a savings account due to low interest rates.  

Commenting on the research, Matt Sanders from GoCompare Money said, “While we might be moving closer to a cashless society, it seems that the humble piggy bank is still the first point of call for many people.”  

“However, if you are a coin jar hoarder, be sure to check for old style £1 coins which will become worthless this year.  The new 12-sided, bimetal, £1 coin came into circulation on 28 March 2017 and replaces the round £1 coin which will cease to be legal tender after 15 October 2017.  If you have any loads of old £1 coins in your savings pots, then you will need to either exchange them at your bank or spend them before the deadline date otherwise your rainy day savings could be reduced to nothing.

Matt Sanders added; “Coin jar savings can quickly add up.  In our survey 12% of people with money in a jar or piggy bank reckon they’ve saved over £100, while 5% thought they’d squirrelled away over £250.   So, if you’re one of those people who find that you’re regularly building up a reasonable sum of money in your coin jar it would be worth considering a more formal savings arrangement.  Rather than wallowing in your piggy bank, your cash will work harder for you in a savings account or interest paying current account.”

For more information on savings visit: GoCompare.

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Notes to editors:

*The UK Adult population (20+) estimated to be 48,913,000 (Source: Annual mid-year population estimates for the UK, 2014).  73% of UK adults say they have a coin jar or piggy bank, equating to 35.7m people.  35.7m multiplied by the average piggy bank savings of £43.70 is £1.5bn.

55% of those surveyed regularly save in a bank or building society savings account – which equates to 26.9m.

**Survey of 2,000 UK adults carried out by OnePoll (8 to 13 March 2017).  Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.