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It's Official: The Biggest Bank in Britain is Now the Bank of Granny and Grandpa

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SOURCE Office of Kevin Butler and WPA

LONDON, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

Since the recession and the banking crisis in 2008, many young people have come to rely on the Bank of Mum and Dad that is now increasingly financially - stretched with incomes failing to keep up with inflation, soaring house prices, energy and food costs.

The reality is that Mum and Dad are being squeezed.

But there's a new lender not far away - The Bank of Granny and Grandpa.  Grandparents now fund one in four private school pupils[1] and a recent poll found that Grandparents give a total of £2.8 billion a year[2] in cash to their grandchildren. In addition to financial help, Grandparents already provide as much as 35% of all childcare for families with working Mums[3].

Following the May publication of the Wealth and Assets Survey by the Office of National Statistics [ONS][4] and research conducted by Kevin Butler, formerly of the Bank of England, and Economics Adviser to WPA - the Medical Insurer - the total assets of 'Granny and Grandpa' place them as the biggest bank in the UK - the Bank of Mum and Dad has been relegated while the 'big banks' are getting smaller[5].

     (Photo: )

If Granny and Grandpa were a formal bank, their assets would outstrip the UK's biggest bank by over £1 trillion (see above link). Grandparents are asset rich, both by way of pensions and property values, whereas parents suffer from increasingly strained cash-flows.

Kevin Butler says: "These ONS verified figures are marking a societal shift away from a reliance on banks, as well as Mum and Dad. Banks are, of course very important as lenders but they need to make money and reward shareholders, whereas grandparents are wanting to use their assets effectively before inheritance tax nearly halves their lifetime savings."

He continues, "These are not small numbers, indeed nearly half of all households with occupants over the age of 55 have net assets of £500,000 or more."

Grandparents are now becoming the lender and grant-giver of choice.


  1. 'Grandparents help pay for one in four private school pupils'. 
    MailOnline 28 August 2013
  2. 'Bank of granny and grandpa donates £2.8bn' 
    The Times 1 January 2014
  3. Grandparents providing childcare - Briefing Paper 
    The Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre November 2011
  4. Office of National Statistics [ONS] Wealth and Assets Survey (published May 2014)
  5. Extracted from Banks' Annual accounts:   

                               2013 (assets - GBP billions)    2012 (assets - GBP billions)

     Nationwide                             191                             196
     Lloyds Group                           847                             934
     RBS                                   1028                            1312
     Barclays                              1312                            1488
     HSBC                                  1618                            1662
     Bank of Mum and Dad                                                   1716
     Bank of Granny and Grandpa                                            2717

For more information:  

Kevin Butler - or Telephone: +44(0)7809-670-985

Kevin Butler had a 33 year career at the Bank of England from 1977 to 2010 culminating in the role of Southwest Regional Agent. He holds the Economics Advisory Portfolio at WPA (Western Provident Association Ltd.), is the Consultant Economist to Milsted Langdon Chartered Accountants and is a frequent television and radio news bulletin commentator in the South West.


Charlie MacEwan -

Telephone: +44(0)7771-808083

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