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Around a third of the people who get paper statements from their bank admit they leave them unopened, partly due to worries about the state of their bank accounts.

A full fifth of those who don't open their statements said it's because they're 'too afraid' of what they'll find if they read them, according to the research from Barclays.

If those figures are accurate across the UK, that means around nine million bank statements are left unopened every single month.

As with any figures like these, there are some real differences in different regions: only around 25% of the people in the South West and London are leaving their bank statements unopened, while people in Scotland seem the most likely to do so (fully 44% of respondents).

The research also asked people for some detail about why they weren't opening their bank statements. It found that around:

•  7% didn't like seeing where their money had gone.

•  7% just wanted to pretend all was well with their finances.

•  7% knew they were always overdrawn and didn't want to be reminded of this.

Not all the reasons were as worrying, though. 10% said they couldn't be bothered to open their statements, while 12% were just too busy.

"Nobody likes bad news," said a spokesperson for thinkmoney, "but when it comes to money problems, trying to ignore them generally just gives them time to build up and get worse. Facing up to your money worries is the first step to getting rid of them: even if it's a painful process, the long-term benefits speak for themselves.

"In many cases, a household's finances aren't actually as bad as they might believe. Spend a bit of time with your statement and a calculator and you might realise you could get out of the 'hole' you're in with a few months of cutting back on your spending.

"Or you might find it's worse than you feared - but that just makes it all the more important that you act quickly to do what you can to improve your finances.

"If you're looking for some hands-on help with your finances, there are accounts that can provide that.

The thinkmoney Current Account is an alternative to a bank account, designed to help people get their bills paid on time. It's actually two accounts in one: a Salaries account for customers' essential bills and a Card account for their spending money. Our customers know they're free to spend the money in their Card account, since we make sure that enough stays in their Salaries account to pay all the essential costs they've told us about.

"Looking to the future, the thinkmoney Current Account also provides a forecasting service: we can warn our customers if we see they have any potential cash-flow problems up to three months ahead. As they say, forewarned is forearmed."

Quick and easy to apply

Apply for a thinkmoney Current Account today.

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