NEW research from a Bradford firm has revealed that the number of people unable to save anything at all has almost doubled in the last year.

Figures released by Yorkshire Building Society highlight how the financial wellbeing gap in the UK has also widened due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The new study shows that the number of people not saving at all has risen to 21 per cent in 2020, compared to 12 per cent last year.

In addition Yorkshire and Humber has seen the biggest year-on-year increase in non-savers, meaning almost one in three people (29 per cent) in the region are not saving compared to 18 per cent in 2019.

In contrast, at the other end of the scale there are signs of increased savings in light of the coronavirus pandemic as spending opportunities have reduced.

The research shows that one in four people (25 per cent) reported increasing their monthly savings and over a third (34 per cent) have reduced spending during the outbreak.

The research also shows that three in ten (30 per cent) are now able to save £200 or more a month compared to around a fifth (21 per cent) in 2019.

The numbers highlight just how fragile many people’s financial situation is, with 13 per cent of people saying they are unable to reduce their spending.

Almost one in ten (9 per cent) expected their savings to last just a few days and a fifth of respondents (21 per cent) admitted they have no savings at all.

The Money Advice Service recommends people have a savings cushion to cover three months’ essential outgoings in case of an emergency.

But the Society found just half (50 per cent) of people could rely on their savings for at least three months if they had a loss of income, however that figure has increased from 42 per cent in 2019.

Tina Hughes, director of savings for YBS said: “As our research has shown, the financial wellbeing gap in the UK has grown and we’re still not saving enough as a nation with over a fifth of people not saving at all.

"Now more than ever, in the current economic uncertainty and in a recession, it’s important that we help people to save and build up their financial resilience.

"One of the things the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated is that anyone could find themselves in financial difficulties and may need to rely on savings, which is why we want to continue to help people establish a healthy savings pot and improve their financial wellbeing to protect themselves from any sudden and unexpected changes to their situation.”

“We’re not trying to limit life’s pleasures but we do want to support a save-first culture to help people save the money that would enable them to withstand a financial shock without relying on credit or debt.”

The survey is part of an ongoing campaign by YBS to improve people's financial resilience.