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Bank balances reveal Aussies are prepping for life post-COVID

  • June 04 2020
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Bank balances reveal Aussies are prepping for life post-COVID

By Grace Ormsby
June 04 2020

Australians are bunkering down for life post-COVID-19, with new analysis revealing median bank balances are up 45 per cent from the pre-pandemic period.

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Bank balances reveal Aussies are prepping for life post-COVID

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  • June 04 2020
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Australians are bunkering down for life post-COVID-19, with new analysis revealing median bank balances are up 45 per cent from the pre-pandemic period.

savings

Bankwest has crunched some numbers and found that in the past 12 weeks alone, median account balances are almost 50 per cent higher than they were on 1 March.

Balances are also some 56 per cent higher than they were at the same time last year.

The account data is supported by findings from a national Bankwest survey, the bank revealed, which found almost half of respondents surveyed revealing they have been trying to save more money than usual.

Respondents to that survey were also more than twice as likely to be saving than spending.

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The most common reasons cited for the increased savings were: actively or deliberately saving due to uncertain times, fewer travel expenses and holidays, less eating out and cancelled memberships.

Commenting on the findings, Bankwest chief customer officer Paul Vivian said the time of uncertainty “has made Australians think about their future, and those who have the ability to do so are building their reserves”.

“The shutdown period has given many people an opportunity to put some money toward a new home, a renovation, a car or even a dream holiday, once travel restrictions are lifted,” he observed.

Almost half of those surveyed (44 per cent) expect to continue spending less post-pandemic, particularly across sectors including travel, eating out and takeaway, public transport and clothing.

At the same time, there is also a generally held expectation by respondents that at-home spending will continue to increase, with more costs associated with grocery bills, utilities, cleaning and gardening.

Mr Vivian said it will be interesting to see if the intention to maintain savings translates into a long-lasting behaviour change.

“That could create a scenario that will be important to work through as a community, given the recovery of the economy, and many businesses could hinge on people’s spending behaviour.”

Household income was also found to have a massive impact on spending behaviour.

Bankwest revealed that more than half (54 per cent) of respondents in the $120,000 to $180,000 bracket reported that they were saving more during the pandemic, compared with 41 per cent in the $40,000 to $80,000 range.

Bank balances reveal Aussies are prepping for life post-COVID
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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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