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Doctors take more risk with savings as interest rates flatline

Doctors in the UK are turning into risk-takers with their savings as they seek a bigger return after eight years of low interest rates, according to new research by Wesleyan.

Almost half (47 per cent) of doctors are now taking more risk with their savings than this time last year, with 21 per cent saying they have significantly increased their risk appetite during that time, research from the specialist financial mutual has found. Interest rates have been held at record lows since first being cut to 0.5% in March 2009, and again to 0.25% in August 2016.

A sixth (16 per cent) of those who have changed their attitude to risk over the past year did so because low interest rates made them want to seek out better returns elsewhere.

Meanwhile, wider economic events such as Brexit have made slightly more doctors (22 per cent) take a more cautious approach to their savings.

When it comes to keeping hard-earned long-term savings, the most popular products include savings accounts (73 per cent) and ISAs (55 per cent).

Two fifths (39%) of doctors now use a current account for long-term savings. The unusual shift towards keeping savings in everyday accounts could be a by-product of the ultra-low interest rate environment and increasing competition among banks offering relatively high interest rates on current accounts.

Vicki Wentworth, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer at Wesleyan, said: "Low interest rates have increased consumer spending, but they have also pushed doctors to increase their risk appetite as they seek higher returns on their savings.

"Higher risk investments can help savings pots grow, but what we're seeing now is savers taking more risk than they might normally be comfortable with to combat record low interest rates.

"We recommend all doctors take financial advice when reviewing their savings and investments. This will ensure they fully understand the associated risks and are comfortable before making decisions that could affect their finances for years to come."

Wesleyan provides specialist financial advice and services to doctors, dentists, lawyers and teachers.

Research based on a survey of 203 Doctors by Censuswide on behalf of Wesleyan, January 2017.

'WESLEYAN’ is a trading name of the Wesleyan Group of companies.

Wesleyan Assurance Society and Wesleyan Bank Ltd are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd, Wesleyan Unit Trust Managers Ltd, Practice Plan Ltd and DPAS Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Advice about investments, insurance and mortgages is provided by Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd.

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