- 27 per cent of Brits married and in relationships have no idea where their partners’ money is banked or invested
- 17 per cent of people who have been in a relationship for 10 years or more wouldn’t know how to locate their partner’s assets in the event of their passing
- Almost one in five married Brits say their partner doesn’t know their current account sort code and account number (18 per cent)
New research from Direct Line life insurance1 reveals that while Brits are prepared to share nearly all aspects of their life on social media, when it comes to the last taboo, their finances, they aren’t so forthcoming even with their nearest and dearest.
More than a quarter (27 per cent) of Brits has no idea where their partner’s money is banked or invested. In fact, ten million people would have no idea how to locate or access their partner’s accounts were they to be incapacitated or pass away. It’s not just an issue for new couples, 17 per cent of people who have been married or in a relationship for ten years or more wouldn’t know how to locate their partner’s assets in the event of their death.
Over a quarter (28 per cent) of those in a relationship wouldn’t know how to access their partners’ current account, having no idea of their account number or sort code. Even amongst married couples, people don’t know the basic details of their partner’s current account, with almost one in five (18 per cent) not sharing account information with their loved one.
Table one: Brits marital money secrets
|Type of account||Percentage of married
people who don’t give their
|Percentage of those in a
|Workplace pension details||20 per cent||32 per cent|
|Current account details||18 per cent||28 per cent|
|Private pension details||17 oer cent||26 per cent|
|Savings account details||17 per cent||28 per cent|
|Credit card account details||16 per cent||27 per cent|
|ISA account details||15 per cent||24 per cent|
|Other investments (e.g. shares and bonds)||13 per cent||21 per cent|
Source: Direct Line Life Insurance
While married Brits are more forthcoming with their partners about their finances than unmarried couples, there are still millions of Brits who are secretive about their financial information. One in five married Brits have a partner who doesn’t know the details of their workplace pension, rising to almost a third (32 per cent) of all Brits in a relationship.
Nearly one in five (17 per cent) married people denied their husband or wife’s access to their savings details and this number increased to 28 per cent of all those in a relationship. Similarly, 16 per cent of married people wouldn’t give their spouses access to their credit card details, but this figure rises to 27 per cent of all Brits in a relationship.
Jane Morgan, Business Manager at Direct Line Life Insurance, commented: “Establishing a foundation of trust in a relationship can be difficult; especially when it comes to finances. As awkward as it may be, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open when it comes to money matters. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, concealing details of your finances from your other half or a close family member can delay probate at a significant cost to those nearest to the deceased.”
“Life insurance offers an affordable way for families to help look after loved ones financially if someone passes away, paying out a lump sum to help deal with every day money concerns such as household bills, credit card costs and mortgage payments.”
Case study: Andrew from Kent said: “When my Dad’s aunt passed away we found out she’d taken a life insurance policy out protecting her younger brother when he was eight years old. My Dad tried a few times to see if it was worth anything but always ended up getting nowhere as we didn’t have a copy of the death certificate. However, when I had some time recently I contacted the insurer again, we worked out he would have been over 150 and as I was the only living relative, the company were happy to pay-out. Thanks to my Great-Aunt we’ve just received £1,200. I’m really hoping to do something special with the family, to honour her in a way.”
Residents of London are the least likely of any UK city to know where their partners’ assets are located, with over a third (34 per cent) of those in a relationship not knowing how to access these funds. Those living in Plymouth have the greatest awareness of their partners’ banking details and investments with just 14 per cent of people not knowing how to track down their partners’ assets.
Table two: Couple’s awareness of the location of their partners’ money
|City||Percentage of residents who would
not know where their
partner/spouse’s money was
located if they were to pass away
|London||34 per cent|
|Norwich||30 per cent|
|Nottingham||29 per cent|
|Southampton||28 per cent|
|Edinburgh||28 per cent|
|Glasgow||27 per cent|
|Belfast||26 per cent|
|Bristol||26 per cent|
|Leeds||25 per cent|
|Birmingham||24 per cent|
|Cardiff||22 per cent|
|Manchester||20 per cent|
|Liverpool||19 per cent|
|Newcastle||16 per cent|
|Plymouth||14 per cent|
Source: Direct Line Life Insurance
When it comes to sorting out someone’s estate, it’s not only partners’ assets that people struggle to access in the event of a death. Locating assets of children, parents or grandparents can also be extremely challenging and can cause serious issues when it comes to probate. Only 38 per cent of Brits would know where to find details of their parents’ banking and investments and just 24 per cent for their children aged over 18.
Table three: Familial awareness of assets
|Family relation||Percentage of people who
know where the assets of
their loved ones are
|Partner 10 years plus||81 per cent|
|Partner or spouse||71 per cent|
|Parent||38 per cent|
|Child over 18||24 per cent|
|Grand parent||9 per cent|
Source: Direct Line Life Insurance
For more information on life insurance, please visit: https://www.directline.com/life-cover/family-financial-planning
Notes to Editors
1 Research conducted by Opinium amongst a representative sample of 2,000 adults completed between 1st and 4th May 2018
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Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel, pet and life insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.
Direct Line life insurance policies are underwritten by Legal & General, registered office: One Coleman Street, London EC2R 5AA. Legal & General Assurance Society Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under number 117659. You can check the FCA register at www.fca.org.uk/register or call the FCA on 0800 111 6768. Legal & General will introduce customers who select the Funeral Benefit Option to Dignity Funeral Services, who are members of the National Association of Funeral Directors.