28 Oct 2021

ASB Bank's Financial Wellbeing survey finds customers better prepared for latest lockdowns

9:56 am on 28 October 2021

ASB bank customers have been better prepared financially to weather the latest Covid-19 lockdowns by spending less and saving more.

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File image. Photo: 123RF

ASB Bank's Financial Wellbeing insights found average customer cash balances were 60 percent more than those of the first 2020 alert level 4 lockdown.

The survey of more than half a million customers found, despite the improved average cash balances, 40 percent of customers had less than $1000 available to spend.

"While some New Zealanders are now more financially resilient, Covid's ongoing economic impact means a significant number continue to do it tough," ASB chief executive Vittoria Shortt said.

"The baseline for Kiwis' overall financial wellbeing remains low - 38 percent of ASB's customers were found to be living pay-day to pay-day, and 49 percent of our customers appear to be having trouble or just coping."

Customer spending was down in September, with outflows from Auckland customers' accounts dropping 22 percent compared with 5 percent for the rest of New Zealand.

"We are still some way off seeing a return to alert level 1 spending patterns," Shortt said.

"Having savings put aside can make a big difference when facing into uncertainty."

Aucklanders increased their average cash balances by 5.4 last month, marginally ahead of savers outside the region whose balances grew by 4.8 percent in the same timeframe.

The top savers were 18 to 24-year-olds, boosting their average cash balances by 9 percent in September, compared with an average of 5 percent.