Only one in four have sufficient savings in Nordic countries

09.02.11 10:02 | Lehdistötiedotteet

Around half of the Nordic population shares the same dream: to have a savings buffer equal to 2 to 3 months’ net income. Only 20-25 per cent of people have accumulated this much, however. Their savings in fact hardly equal a month’s net income; many people have saved even less.

Nordea’s survey reveals that Finns are more active savers than their Nordic neighbours.

- It is gratifying to note that the number of zero-savers in Finland has fallen dramatically during the past year. Last year 23 per cent of the Finnish respondents reportedly had no savings whatsoever. This figure is now down to 8 per cent. It’s great that Finns understand how important it is to save and to build a savings buffer, saysAnu Numminen, Nordea’s Private Economist.

Young Finns save actively
Finnish 16-25-year-olds are more active savers than their Nordic peers. Of Finnish young adults, 14 per cent, or around 92,000, have no savings buffer. In Norway and Sweden one in four has no savings. Young Danes are the most easy-going, with as many as one in three without a financial buffer.

Some watch their savings grow
Compared to last year, the share of people with substantial savings, worth over nine months’ net income, has increased in all four countries. This perhaps excessively large buffer is typical among homeowners aged 54 to 65.

One in ten Finns has a savings buffer exceeding nine months’ net income, while the corresponding figures for the other countries are: Sweden with one in six, Norway one in seven and Denmark one in eight. These are active savers without specific savings targets, and the yield on their savings is negligible. So, buffer savings need not be too substantial.

- It is sensible to set a savings target for at-call buffer savings and invest the rest in alternative forms of savings and investment providing a better yield. That’s why people should have a savings and investment plan arranged with their bank, says Anu Numminen.

How much money to set aside? 
Even a relatively small buffer is enough when all fixed monthly expenses have been carefully calculated and budgeted. It is also helpful to have a household account from which recurring expenses are paid automatically. The smaller the number of payment obligations, the lower the risk of big unexpected expenses falling due for payment.

If there is no buffer of any kind, it is advisable to get started with regular savings as soon as possible.

- We recommend that customers make automatic savings transfers from their current account via their Netbank on their pay day. They can then build up a buffer in no time. Another convenient way of saving is an electronic piggy bank into which money is paid every time the customer uses a payment card, says Numminen.

Over 4,400 persons aged 16-65 were interviewed in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. In proportion to the entire population, survey reflects the attitudes and views of more than 16 million inhabitants of the Nordic countries. The survey was carried out by Synovate.

For further information:
Anu Numminen, Private Economist, +358 9 165 88218
Anni Kuusisto, Group Identity & Communications, +358 9 165 42653