Canny Borderers best savers

THE Borders is a region of savers according to a recent Bank of Scotland study that shows it has the biggest savings balances relative to earnings throughout Scotland..

The average savings balance of Borders customers is £8,972, equivalent to 41% of local average annual earnings.

And the report, based on Bank of Scotland balances at the end of October 2011, revelaed that generally speaking savers in rural Scotland were outsaving their counterparts in the urban areas.

They had an average balance of £8,805 - almost 29 per cent more than urban savers.

Rural savers were also managing to put away more in relation to their earnings.

With an average savings balance equivalent to 37 per cent of their gross annual earnings they are 10 per cent ahead of savers in towns and cities.

The lowest average balance in relation to local earnings was in East Ayrshire (24 per cent). Savers there also had the lowest average savings balance of £5,450 - 38 per cent below the average for Scotland as a whole.

The highest average balance was in Aberdeenshire (£10,191), followed by Perth and Kinross (£9,230).

Bank of Scotland economist Nitesh Patel said: “Some of the rural areas of Scotland have an older population profile, many attracting relatively affluent retirees.

“These savers have had a long working life to build up their savings pot compared to younger savers. This would appear to be a key factor explaining the typically higher level of savings in rural areas compared with urban ones.”

This would go a long way to explaining why the Borders is way ahead in the savings game - in 2004 almost 20 per cent of the population was over 65, expected to rise to 26 per cent in 2024.