Only three per cent of savers in Spain use more complex financial products

Only three per cent of savers in Spain use more complex financial products

About 39% of people in Spain say they never save any money and few of those who do use investment funds, shares or fixed income products


Wednesday, 15 February 2023, 10:47


The coronavirus crisis has led many households in Spain to start saving money. The latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) show that on average people are now putting aside 14.8 per cent of their available income.

However, these statistics also hide a serious lack of financial education which is preventing this 'enforced' saving from becoming a matter of routine in other homes.

According to a Survey into Financial Competence carried out by the Bank of Spain and the National Stock Market Commission (CNMV), 39 per cent of the population say they haven't saved at all during the past 12 months, and of those who have, barely three per cent have used more complex financial products such as investment funds, the stock market or fixed income (Treasury bills and bonds, or those of companies), which would enable them not only to save but also achieve a higher return.

The survey shows that the favourite method of saving is the traditional current account in a bank or even in cash, at 38.8 per cent and 23.3 per cent respectively, followed by deposits (8.7 per cent) and contributions to pension funds (6.6 per cent).

This doesn't just apply to savings: although practically all those who took part in the survey have or have had current accounts in banks, the rest of the products are less common.

About 58 per cent said they have or have had credit cards and 30 per cent have mortgages, life assurance or savings accounts.

The survey showed that 40% of people in Spain would rather have money available now than more of it in the future

On the other hand, investment in shares, investment funds and fixed-yield products is much lower, at 14 per cent, nine per cent and two per cent respectively.

These figures are strongly related to another key point in the survey, which shows that 40 per cent of people in Spain prefer to have money available now than more of it in the future.

In fact, only 20 per cent of those surveyed would be prepared to wait a year, to obtain a profit of at least five per cent on their current savings.

Education in finances

The survey also reflects the low level of financial education among Spanish savers, with 25 per cent of the population unlikely to score more than six out of ten in a finance knowlege test.

The worst results were from the oldest age group. Participants in the survey aged between 18 and 54 showed that they had a medium or high level of financial knowledge, compared with those aged between 54 and 80.

With regard to gender there is an existing gap, says the working document.

Eighty-four per cent of men showed an average or high level of financial knowledge, while in women the proportion dropped to 79 per cent.





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