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M&S Money study discovers the return of family meetings


M&S Money has revealed the results of its latest study which shows that family meetings are back in vogue with Brits who have turned their focus on finances, instead of just the traditional family politics.

The new ’family finance’ study shows families across the UK are coming together to discuss everything from holidays and TVs to credit cards and broadband.

The research found that the majority of family households discuss, research and plan how they spend their money together. 59% of families make all their financial decisions together before buying anything.

The study found that one in ten families take the traditional route and seek wisdom from the older generation by involving their own parents in making financial decisions for their household, but parents are increasingly involving their entire families. Children who are under 18 are now commonly involved in decisions regarding buying furniture and clothes, to holidays and cars. Indeed, of those with children at home, 24% said their kids help decide on where to go on holiday, and 44% said their kids help decide on their wardrobe.

Colin Kersley, chief executive of M&S Money, said: "British families are embracing the old adage that ’two heads are better than one’. We’ve seen a revival of traditional family meetings to discuss what to spend the family cash on. Children and even grandparents are involved in a variety of decisions from fridges to credit cards.

“I think this is a really positive move for the nation’s families - the idea of getting together as a team and playing a part in crucial decision making together is a wonderful development. Being open and honest about family finances can only bode well, opening up the next generation’s eyes to running a household’s finances.”

When it comes to the crunch of actually paying, 31% of couples will split the bill - sharing the cost fairly. The research found this is most likely to happen in Wales (44%), whereas only 23% of Londoners who hold family meetings to decide on how to spend their cash go on to share the cost.

However, the study also found one in five women in relationships do all the research, make the final decision and fund the purchase - with only a small proportion (4%) handing over total responsibility to their partner.

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:
Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2001 British adults from 25th to 30th August 2010. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

About M&S Money:
M&S Money (the trading name of Marks & Spencer Financial Services) was founded in 1985 as the financial services division of Marks and Spencer Group plc, making 2010 the company’s 25th anniversary.

The company is a top-ten credit card provider and the second-largest travel currency retailer in the UK.  M&S Money also offers a range of insurance cover, including home and contents insurance, car insurance and travel insurance cover, as well as loans, savings and investment products.

In November 2004, Marks & Spencer sold M&S Money to HSBC. HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 8,000 offices in 88 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$2,364 billion at 31 December 2009, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations. HSBC is marketed worldwide as ’the world’s local bank’. M&S Money has an executive committee comprising an equal number of representatives from HSBC and Marks & Spencer.

For further information please call the M&S Money press office:
Simon Coughlin
Media Relations Manager
M&S Money
8 Canada Square
Canary Wharf
E14 5HQ
020 7992 1574


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