31 January 2019

New HMRC figures show cash 'under the mattress' nearly doubles since 2001

3 min read

Helen Morrissey, Personal Finance Specialist
Helen Morrissey

Corporate PR Specialist – Long Term Savings


Commenting on UK Personal Wealth Statistics published today, Helen Morrissey, pension specialist at Royal London, said:

“Today’s figures show that the amount of cash people are holding has almost doubled from £363bn in 2001-2003 to £711bn between 2014-16. While cash plays an important role in financial planning it is important to know the risks of holding large proportions of your assets in cash over the long term. Rising inflation can eat away at the value of cash and it might be more prudent to invest in other areas. While having a reserve of cash ready for emergencies is always a good thing don’t stash too much under the mattress –seek financial advice on the best way to invest your money.”

Trevor Greetham, head of multi-asset at Royal London Asset Management said:

“Outside of residential property, cash makes up the largest proportion of estates held by all but the wealthiest households. Cash is the safest asset in the short term but in the long term it is one of the riskiest. With interest rates set below the level of inflation the purchasing power of cash has fallen markedly in the decade since the financial crisis, even with interest reinvested.”

Notes to editors

UK Personal Wealth statistics can be found here

The statistics present information on Identified Wealth derived from the wealth represented by estates passing on death each year requiring a grant of representation. On average this is 14.1m people per year in 2014-16. This represents 27% of the UK adult population.

The table referred to in the comment can be found here

For further information please contact:

Helen Morrissey, Corporate PR Specialist – Long Term Savings

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £117 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 3,745 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2018.