New ways with old money

Date of publication: June 15, 1991


In this paper, we look at the contrast between the financial position of the over-50s in Britain, and the position of the younger generation. In spite of almost universal reports of economic recession, and shortage of money to spend on consumer goods, we find that the over-50s are comparatively prosperous. Not only that, they feel prosperous, to a greater degree than their younger equivalents. The over-50s are protected from economic stringency by three factors - their relatively low mortgages (in some cases paid off completely), their relatively high savings, and their fairly high probability of inheriting money from their parents. All these point to the over-50s as fertile ground for marketing financial services. There is evidence, however, that developments in financial services over the past five to ten years have not served the interests of this group particularly well. Of all age groups, they are the most loyal supporters of branch banking, and the least receptive to new technology; yet the banking industry, for reasons arising from its own straitened circumstances, has been moving away from branches towards technological solutions. In tins paper, we report on the results of a research survey conducted for Scottish Amicable, one of Britain’s largest life assurance societies, by MORI. The results add considerably to knowledge of the over-50s’ needs for financial services, and point the way to new kinds of product which they might find valuable

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