HALIFAX, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 7, 2012) - Savings balances show the emergence of a geographic split, which contrasts the more typical north south divide.
When examined at Local Authority level, the latest Halifax research reveals that, between July and September, whilst nine of the ten highest savings balances in England and Wales are in the south, so are over half of lowest savings balances.
The 'South-South' disparity is driven predominantly between Local Authorities in the South East and Greater London. South Buckinghamshire tops the list for the highest average savings balance at GBP 13,459, which is more than three times that of Hackney, which stood at GBP 4,246.
Across England and Wales the average savings balance was GBP 7,830 at the end of September.
Richard Fearon, Head of Halifax Savings comments: "Whilst we have come to expect a variation of savings balances in different areas, any assumptions that the difference is purely on a north-south basis are clearly unfounded."
At a regional level, a large variation in average savings balances does, however, remain. The biggest savers are in East Anglia with an average balance of GBP 9,195, whilst savers in the North East have the lowest average balance, at GBP 7,546. East Anglia is followed by savers in the South East (GBP 9,128) and the South West (GBP 8,605).
None of the regions with an average savings balance below the national average of GBP 7,830 are in the South; North West (GBP 7,561), Wales (GBP 7,704) and West Midlands (GBP 7,817).
Savers, on average, have a savings balance that is equivalent to 29% of gross average annual earnings. The highest proportion is in the South West (36%), followed by Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber and East Midlands (all 34%).
Women have an average savings balance (GBP 8,015) that is six per cent higher than those held by men (GBP 7,538). Women also save more in relation to earnings than men across all areas of England and Wales. Overall, women have an average savings balance equivalent to 40% of their gross average annual earnings, compared to men who have an average savings balance equivalent to 22%.
Richard Fearon adds: "Whilst women have slightly higher savings balances than men, the fact that they save almost double the amount of their earnings would suggest that saving is greater priority to women and they manage their money more effectively to be able to do this."
Savings in proportion to earnings are highest for women in the South West (49%); closely followed by East Midlands (47%), East Anglia and Yorkshire and the Humber (both 46%). Savings by men are highest in proportion to earnings in Wales and the South West (both 28%). London has the lowest levels of savings relative to earnings for both women (30%) and men (16%).
At a Local Authority Level, women in Ryedale in North Yorkshire (76%), Great Yarmouth (72%), Boston in Lincolnshire (71%) and West Dorset (71%) have the highest average savings balance in relation to local average gross earnings.
The Local Authorities with the lowest savings balances in relation to earnings for both women and men are all in London. Hackney, Islington, and Tower Hamlets all have an average savings balances equivalent to less than 20% of local gross average annual earnings.
The Halifax Savings Barometer presents a snapshot of savings in England and Wales over a three month period. The research is based on data from Halifax's deposit savings database. Halifax is the UK's leading savings providers with more than GBP 90bn of savings on deposit and over 11.5 million savings customers. The analysis in this release is based on savings accounts held with Halifax in Quarter 3 2012.