More than 1 in 10 adults in relationships have a secret savings account

to new consumer research from Aviva

Some 13% hold an average balance of more than €50,000 

More than 1 in 10 adults (13%) in relationships have a bank or savings account that their spouse or partner is unaware of, with 14% of men and 13% of women admitting to having one.  The main reasons for having a secret savings account are to give them a greater sense of security amongst 40% of respondents; because they like the idea of having something that is completely their own (29%); and because their partner is not good with money (28%).  These are amongst the key findings of new consumer research conducted by iReach Insights on behalf of Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland DAC (Aviva) that polled 1,000 people nationwide, with a 50/50 split of men and women aged between 25-65.

The Aviva survey found that:

  • Those aged between 55-65 were the least likely to have a secret savings account at only 9%, while 24% of 25–34-year-olds have one, followed by 12% of 35–54-year-olds.
  • Other reasons given for having these secret accounts include the fact that they have always had it and never thought to mention it (28%), security in the event of the relationship breaking down (24%), and 17% of respondents said they simply did not want to share those funds with their spouse/partner.
  • Interestingly 64% of those aged 55-65 who have a secret account, claimed it was because they had it prior to meeting their spouse/partner and did not think it important to mention.
  • Those claiming it was for greater security was highest amongst those aged 45-54 at 46%, with 34% of those aged 35-44 claiming that they would have something to fall back on if the relationship broke down.
  • Those living in Dublin are more likely to have a secret savings account (19%), followed by Munster at 12%, with Connacht + Ulster 11% and rest of Leinster at 10%.

As adults, we all strive for financial security where we can and, regardless of the reasons, it is always good to aim to have some funds set aside for the rainy day or for when the unexpected happens, which of course it sometimes does. Having separate savings accounts may simply provide those individuals with peace of mind that they have access to savings should they need them in the future. It is interesting to note that those who have ‘secret’ accounts that their spouse/partner is unaware of are almost equally held by men and women.

Stephen Rice, Aviva

Amounts held in secret savings accounts:

The Aviva survey found that, for those with a secret savings account, the average balance is €12,421, although the average balance for men is higher at €15,592 than woman at €10,044.  More than 1 in 10 (13%) of those have more than €50,000 in the account, with more men (18%) than women (6%) claiming this according to the research findings.

  • The majority of those having less than €500 in their secret savings account are women (18%) v’s men at 7% and those aged 35-44 (20%) and 25-34 at 12%.
  • Of the 13% holding more than €50,000 in a secret savings account, the majority (28%) are aged 55-65, followed by those aged 45-54 at 16%.
  • Looking at the regions and those with over €50,000 in these accounts, 18% of them are Dublin-based, followed by 15% who are Connacht + Ulster based, with Munster-based people next at 9% and those living in the Rest of Leinster at 6%.

All savers, including those with secret savings accounts should ensure that they are getting a return on their hard-earned income and that it is not being eroded by inflation.  This is particularly the case for those with higher amounts in their accounts.  Given that the European Central Bank’s (ECBs) interest rate on deposits is currently 4%, with promises to increase the rate further over the coming months, savers should ensure that they are benefiting where possible from these recent rate increases.

"While it is evident that people will continue to hold secret savings accounts for various reasons that are important to them.  However, we would recommend that they inform someone they trust such as a family member, friend, or financial broker of the existence of this account in the event that something should happen to them” concluded Stephen Rice.

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Aviva Group Services Ireland Limited, a private company limited by shares. Registered in Ireland No.322579. Registered Office: Cherrywood Business Park, Dublin, Ireland, D18 W2P5.