Post Office marks 150 years of savings

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Post Office marks 150 years of savings

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This year the Post Office is celebrating 150 years of helping the country to save. To mark this occasion it has revealed new research which gives an insight into the UK's saving habits a century and a half later.

Post Office Savings' research showed that even in these cash strapped times over four in five (81 per cent) people intend to save this year. Over a third of people said they regularly put cash away at least once a month, while nearly half (46 per cent) of adults said they try to save when they have spare cash to put away. However, one in five (19 per cent) said they won't be saving anything this year, and three in ten (29 per cent) stated they have no savings at all.

Post Office Director of Savings Richard Norman said: "With over 150 years of experience, the Post Office has seen many trends in savings. Although the Bank of England base remains at an all time low, which is of course resulting in lower interest rates, many people are still regularly putting cash away for a rainy day or special purchase."

It does appear that people's savings habits were learnt at an early age with nearly three quarters of people (72 per cent) who said they were encouraged to save by their parents. The research also showed that it's getting harder to save across the generations. Almost a third (31 per cent) of over 55s said they think it is harder for them to save than it was for their own parents. This figure rises to 60 per cent for the under 35s.

When it comes to what we're saving for 45 per cent of people said they are saving for big ticket items such as a holiday or car. However, 15 per cent of people said they would use their credit card to buy these items and 13 per cent would borrow cash to fund these purchases.

Lord Palmerston's Government launched the Post Office Savings Bank in 1861, for ordinary people to save into. Since then Post Office has continued to play a key role in helping people save, such as through the launch of the iconic Blue Savings Book in 1966. It now offers a wide range of saving products from Cash ISAs to easy access savings accounts.

Actress Olivia Hallinan, who played a late nineteenth century Post Office Clerk in TV's Lark Rise to Candleford visited Trafalgar Square Post Office to commemorate the anniversary. She said: "Lark Rise to Candleford is set around the same time as the launch of the Post Office Savings Bank, and my character Laura worked in the Post Office. It was a case a déjà vu when I was pictured with the old savings books because they were almost identical to the props we use when filming.

"In Lark Rise to Candleford the characters are constantly struggling to make the most of their money, and I know the Post Office was instrumental in helping people of that time save and transfer their precious money. It's reassuring that it's still doing the same thing today."

To find out more about Post Office Savings, visit
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