Savvy Hongkongers stash it away

Finance | Sunny Tse 25 Oct 2018

As many as 70 percent of Hong Kong's people are savers, with savvy residents who are in the habit of saving putting away an average of HK$7,000 every month and housewives stashing away HK$4,000 per month, a new survey shows.

The survey on 'Hongkongers' Sense of Security on Savings' was conducted by the University of Hong Kong on behalf of the Hong Kong Deposit Protection Board and conducted on more than 1,000 respondents. It found that Hongkongers aged 30-49 and men saved the most each month, at HK$8,537 and HK$7,760 respectively, while those under 30 years of age saved HK$5,768.

The survey found that people who saved preferred interest-bearing channels such as demand or time deposits at banks, shares, bonds or funds, and saving insurance.

More than half of the respondents owned saving accounts in more than one bank, to cater to different needs such as remuneration, deposits, savings and mortgages. Only 16 percent of the respondents said they diversified savings risks.

Over a quarter (26 percent) of those who had savings saved more than HK$10,000 per month, with those aged 30-49 topping the list.

The report also showed that 71 percent of those who do not have a habit of saving said they don't save because they cannot make ends meet.

Though most of the interviewees said that they have a habit of saving, half of them did not have a target for savings.

Sixty-five percent said that the most significant reason for having sufficient savings was to be secure and have reserves for emergency needs while 5 percent said they saved for a dream.

The survey also reported that Hongkongers need around $700,000 to gain a sufficient "sense of security" while housewives needed around HK$500,000 to feel secure.

Among the housewives who save, nearly one-third had "pin money" coming from housekeeping allowances from spouses. Housewives who saved "pin money" said the main purpose was to prepare for personal and family emergency needs.

Robert Chung Ting-yiu, director of The University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme, said that the sense of security that the average Hongkonger currently had in their savings had a mean rating of 55.5 marks.

"The score is above average which is a pass and an acceptable result," he said.

Michael Hui, chairman of the Hong Kong Deposit Protection Board, said that savings in a virtual bank would under-protected by the Hong Kong Deposit Protection Board unless the virtual bank is licensed.

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