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Germans outsave Brits but have less assets

GERMANY/UK - Germany and the UK appear to be neck and neck in the competiton for which country’s adult population is the leader regarding savings.

According to Deloitte & Touche’s European Pensions Attitudinal Survey, Germany is the most responsible nation with 97% of adults owning at least one savings or investment product. The UK follows at 92%.

But in a separate report by Key Note, a UK market information provider, UK households have greater assets than any Euro zone country. The report, called Saving Trends in Euroland, said UK household assets reached e5.06trn, while Germany was e3.64trn.

“The EU is working towards a Pan-European approach to savings with the introduction of the European Pensions Directive. But our research makes it clear that across Europe, consumer views and behaviour vary considerably when it comes to savings,” said Jan Kamieniecki, a Deloitte & Touche partner.

On the other end of the savings scale was Italy, with 31% saying they have no formal savings or investment vehicles, according to the Deloitte survey.

Key Note’s report also said Europe’s ageing population was a key issue threatening savings in the region. “If current trends continue, by 2040, when today’s babies will be just 38, Europe as a whole will have fewer than two workers to every pensioner,” Key Note said.

The report suggests that if EU nations do not reduce their future pension liabilities, several could find themselves burdened with a debt of more than double their domestic product. In addition, the report forecasts governments will be forced to raise tax rates because their universe of taxpayers, mainly those working, is falling.

Another factor affecting incomes will the expansion of the EU into Eastern Europe. Poorer regions of Euro zone countries will lose large amounts of EU funding after 2004 as new members from Eastern Europe become the prime recipients of regional aid, according to the report. Residents of poorer regions, mainly in the southern and mountainous regions of Spain and Italy, are likely to find that real incomes decline.



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