Savers in the Midlands are the thriftiest of all UK regions outside the capital, new research suggests, after avoiding a festive raid on their nest eggs.
The average savings balance in the Midlands stands at £18,680, according to Halifax’s Savings Review.
And whereas that balance fell in every other UK region amid the Christmas spending sprees in the final quarter of last year, it actually increased here from £16,152 the quarter before.
Across Britain, the average savings balance in the first three months of this year stood at £16,690, which is more than £1,000 lower than the typical balance during the previous quarter at £17,945.
Nearly one in four people across the country surveyed said they had added nothing to their savings in the first three months of the year – and 26 per cent said they have raided their accounts over the period.
Giles Martin, head of Halifax Savings, said: “Whilst consumer confidence may have improved - with higher employment levels and low inflation, it remains important that a good savings habit is encouraged and regular saving remains a central part of a household’s financial planning.”
Researchers claim while people in the Midlands raided their savings to the tune of £933 to fund the festive period, the balances bounced back significantly in the new year.
The average balance of £18,680 is more than £4,000 more than any region outside the South East.
And people living in the South East were found to have raided the most from their savings recently, at £1,424 typically, from average balances of £19,489.
Spending on holidays was the most popular reason for dipping into savings. Everyday household expenses were also a common reason for raiding savings, with people saying they had used their pots to cover costs such as home or car repairs, unexpected utility bills, because they had overspent on their current account and to pay off debts.
The report said the findings suggest that some household budgets are still under pressure, despite a zero rate of Consumer Price Inflation and signs of a pick-up in wages.
Poor returns on savings in the low interest rate environment could also be putting people off saving more.
More than 2,000 people were surveyed for the research.
Average savings balances across Britain in the first quarter of 2015, according to Halifax:
:: South East, £19,489 (Q4 2014: £20,889)
:: Midlands, £18,680 (Q4 2014: £16,152)
:: North England, £14,404 (Q4 2014: £17,574)
:: Wales and the South West, £14,340 (Q4 2014: £16,785)
:: Scotland, £12,999 (Q4 2014: £17,708)