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British Ask 'Will we Ever Reach our Financial Prime?'
(01 June 2004)

A third of Britons NEVER expect to reach their financial prime, according to new research revealed by NatWest Primeline, even though 68% of respondents have been saving money since before their 21st birthday.

The survey found that 81% of respondents over the age of 65 believed themselves to be in their financial prime, compared with only 30% of 16-24 year olds. On average, however, Brits expect to reach their financial prime at some point in their forties.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, of those who believe they will never be happy with their financial situation, 43% live in London, compared with only 23% in the north west. Scotland is the place to live if you want to be happy with your financial situation as 63% of those living north of the border say that they are content with their financial affairs.

The survey also indicated that the single life was freer from the stresses and strains of financial life, with only 14% of single Britons stating that they don't believe they will ever be happy with their financial situation, compared to 37% of couples.

In order to get to grips with managing their money, 36% of respondents turned to financial institutions for guidance and advice and over a third felt that they needed the most help when buying their first house (32%) or planning their retirement (16%). Nearly a third of respondents also turned to their parents for advice.

According to the research, 1 in 5 Britons, prefer to spend money on themselves, in particular in London, where over a third of Londoners most enjoy spending money on themselves.

Ultimately, we appear to be a generous nation in our spending habits, with 55% of us enjoying spending our money on our families and 17% on our partners. Holidays are our top extravagance, especially for those in the north west, where 45% spend their spare cash on a break in the sun.

John Wills, Head of Marketing at NatWest Primeline, said: "The pace of life today makes it much harder to keep on top of your finances but equally, with the right support and guidance, you can reach your financial prime and achieve your financial ambitions. At Primeline, customers have a dedicated bank manager to help them manage their finances more effectively plus 24-hour access to their finances. All this is designed to make customers' financial lives as hassle-free as possible which, given the results of the research, is something that we could all do with."

Notes to editors

  • This research was carried out by TNS between 16th - 18th April 2004.
  • A representative sample of 1,000 adults were interviewed.
  • Definition of financial prime - the point in life when you feel that you are content with your financial position.
  • Primeline is a dedicated 24-hour telephone and internet banking service offering excellent customer service with a 98% satisfaction rating. Customers will always speak directly to a customer service adviser or their Personal Banking Manager.
  • Each Primeline customer has a dedicated named personal banking manager to help them with their banking needs.

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