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ANZ report finds over three quarters of Australians saving regularly

Australians’ savings levels have increased to their highest since ANZ began measuring financial literacy in 2002, with 77 per cent of Australians trying to save on a regular basis according to ANZ’s 2011 Adult Financial Literacy in Australia survey.

ANZ Chief Executive Officer Mike Smith said: “Financial literacy supports economic growth and improves the well-being of people and their families. It’s about equipping people to make the most of their opportunities, to provide opportunities for their children and to build assets and financial security throughout their lives.”


ANZ Adult Financial Literacy in Australia - Key Findings


  • 77% of people said they are saving regularly – the highest level of any of ANZ’s four financial literacy surveys conducted since 2002.


  • 81% of people reported being in control of their financial situation, up 4% from the previous survey.


  • 1 in 5 mortgage holders reported not being in control of their finances, with a third of households on less than $65,000 but with mortgage more than $300,000 either fluctuating in and out of control or always out of control financially.


  • People are more aware (74%) of short-term fluctuations in investments.


  • 42% said they did not trust the advice of finance professionals, measured for the first time this year.


  • 73% of people have not identified how much they’ll need to live on when they retire, unchanged from 2008.


Mr Smith added: “It’s now widely recognised that our ageing population, shrinking taxpayer base and longer life spans mean that more of us than ever before will have to provide for retirement and for our health care after our working lives. 


“This makes improving financial literacy a priority across all sectors: government, education, community and business. In addition to supporting research and investing in financial literacy programs, one of the key ways that banks like ANZ can contribute is by making banking products simpler and easier to understand,” Mr Smith said.


ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell said: "ASIC welcomes ANZ's long-term commitment to financial literacy and to this national survey. OECD research tells us that this survey is the most frequently repeated long running national financial literacy survey in the world. The longevity of this survey is vital, as it helps us to track progress in improving the financial skills, knowledge and behaviour of Australians.


"The survey also helps ASIC to better target and focus our financial literacy efforts. We are already planning a number of improvements to our website www.MoneySmart.gov.au as a result of the 2011 survey,” said Mr Kell. 


ANZ Head of Financial Inclusion and Capability Jane Nash said: “People’s attitudes have become more conservative since the global financial crisis and as a result savings levels have risen to their highest since we began measuring financial literacy in 2002. 


“This change has resulted in a higher proportion of people feeling more in control of their financial situation, up four percentage points to 81 per cent. Despite this, there is still a small group of people (3 per cent) who said they are feeling out of control all of the time and 16 per cent who said they fluctuate in and out of control. 


“The survey showed that attitudes to finance play an important role in effective money management with over a third of people finding dealing with money stressful, even though things may be going well financially. We also found that women generally find dealing with money more stressful than men and confidence with money has also been shown to affect financial circumstances,” Ms Nash said. 


ANZ’s 2011 Survey of Adult Financial Literacy in Australia was launched in Melbourne today by ANZ Chief Executive Officer Mike Smith, The Honourable David Bradbury MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, and ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell. 


ANZ works with many community partners such as the Brotherhood of St Laurence to continue to target vulnerable, low financial literacy groups with programs such as Saver Plus to assist in building a savings habit, and skills and confidence in dealing with money. 


The full report can be downloaded from www.anz.com/cr


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