Press Release

For immediate release

Brits lent £16.6 billion to friends and family last year but over half don’t think they will get it all back

  • Brits loaned £320 each to friends and family last year
  • £9.1 billion is at risk of not being repaid and £1.7 billion has already been written off
  • Millennials are twice as likely to lend money than baby boomers (67% v 34%), but are giving away more than four times less (£1,489 v £300)

13 August 2018, LONDON – Brits loaned £16.6 billion to friends and family last year, at an average of £320 per person. However, over half (55%) don’t think they will get all of their money back according to new findings from personal finance comparison website

With only £7.5 billion already returned or expected back in full, this means generous Brits are at risk of losing £9.1 billion to “mates’ rates”. Already, 1 in 10 people who lent money have ruled out getting a single penny back – writing off £1.7 billion in the process.

The study found that 24.5 million Brits lent over £10 to someone at least once throughout the year, including 620,000 particularly charitable people who parted with more than £10,000.

While millennials were almost twice as likely as baby boomers to have lent cash at least once last year (67% vs 34%), their older counterparts lent a much higher average of £1,489 compared to £300.

Women are more prepared to loan money to friends and family, with half (50%) doing so last year compared with 44% of men. The amount they lent was also higher (£715 v £631).

People from Scotland are the least likely to receive all of their money back (62%), and this is followed by those in South-East England (60%) and the West Midlands (60%). Over half (54%) of East Anglians have already got all of their money back, making this the most successful region at recouping loans.

For a regional map of lending comparisons, more in-depth statistics and borrowing comparisons, visit

Commenting on the research, Jon Ostler, UK CEO at, said: ‘‘It’s great that so many selfless Brits are helping out friends and family, but it’s important to be realistic about the chances of being paid back. If you want to ensure you get the money back, here are three simple steps you can take to increase the chance of this happening:

  • Make sure the recipient is clear on the amount being lent and the date that you want to be repaid by, maybe confirm your understanding over email
  • Agreeing to be paid back in instalments will make it easier for the other person. They could even set up a direct debit to automate the process
  • Apps such as LendPal or Splitwise help keep track of personal lending, and they can remind the other person so you don’t have to!

‘’If you simply aren’t in a position to lend the amount needed, the person asking may have other people they can turn to or they could look at options such as an interest-free overdraft or a 0% credit card.’’


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