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Savers taking money out of accounts

Almost £2.3 billion were withdrawn from savings accounts in January, new figures have shown.

According to the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), the amount represents the heaviest level of withdrawals for 12 years as savers, hit by interest rates approaching 0 per cent, seek more productive returns on their money.

The outflow of savings is also indicative of the growing effects of unemployment, with those who have been made redundant raiding their savings in order to pay bills.

As a consequence, the total amount of money held in UK savings accounts fell from £571.5 billion to £568.2 billion.

David Dooks, the BBA’s statistics director, said: “[The] fall in deposits in January reflects a tendency to draw on cash or to move into alternative financial products.”