Three months on from TSB and Visa failures, Brits found to be hoarding £7.7bn in cash at home: Cash at home

07 August 2018, 09:58

Three months on from TSB and Visa failures, Brits found to be hoarding £7.7bn in cash at home

25% of Brits say they now stash cash at home in case there are problems with card payments


  • £187 – average amount of cash kept at home;
  • Financial fiascos leave 30% of Brits concerned about bank security;
  • It’s true - some people really do keep their money under the mattress;
  • GoCompare Home Insurance warns people to check their home contents cover as not all provide cover for cash.

New research released today shows that in the wake of the chaos caused by the systems failures at TSB and Visa, a quarter of UK adults are now keeping more cash at home, specifically in case it happens again.* 

GoCompare Home Insurance found that 80% of people say they now keep emergency cash at home.  While the majority say they keep less than £100 at home, one in ten keep between £200 to £500 and 4% keep over £500.  As a result, the average amount of cash held in the home is currently £187 – an astonishing £7.7bn in total.**   

The research revealed that the recent financial IT failures have prompted more people to keep cash at home, as many (30%) say they are worried about bank security.  16% said they have also gone back to using cash more frequently, rather than just relying on their bank and credit cards.  

Technology failures earlier this year left millions of people unable to access their bank accounts or to pay for goods or services.  In April, an attempted systems upgrade by TSB left many of its customers locked out of their mobile or online accounts, many of whom have experienced ongoing problems. In June, a systems failure at Visa prevented millions of card payments throughout the UK and Europe.   

The survey also asked people who said they keep large sums of money at home where they stash their cash. 

Cash hiding place

How many people

A home safe


In a tin


In a cupboard


In my underpant/knicker drawer


Under the floorboards


Under the mattress


In a book or CD/DVD case


In the kitchen drawer


Under the bathtub


In the loft


In the garage or garden shed


The question revealed that some (4%) really do keep their money under their mattress!  Other hiding places include: a home safe (36%), in a drawer or cupboard (31%), in tin (18%), under the floorboards (6%), in a book or CD case (4%), behind panelling under the bathtub (2%), in the loft (2%) and in the garage or garden shed (2%).      

Most home contents policies will cover a limited amount of personal cash kept in your home against theft or damage.  However, unless you have opted for personal possessions cover, which insures belongings you take out and about with you, most policies don’t provide cover for cash outside the home.  Cover for cash that belongs to a business is generally excluded.

Analysis of over 400 home contents policies*** by GoCompare Home Insurance found that while 94% provide cover for cash in the home the sum covered varies widely between policies – from £100 to £10,000 but typically most cover £500 to £1,000. 

Few policies (17%) automatically cover cash taken out the of the house, most require you to upgrade your cover to add personal possessions.  A handful of policies (4%) don’t provide any cover money away from home.   Again, for those policies covering cash away from home, cover levels vary dramatically between different policies, but most are set around £500 to £1,000.             

Commenting on the research, Georgie Frost, consumer advocate at GoCompare Home Insurance said, “The temporary collapse of Visa’s payment system coming hot on the heels of the unprecedented online banking failure at TSB has clearly left many consumers worried about their reliance on technology and card payments.  So, it’s unsurprising that more people are now choosing to use cash more frequently and store sums at home to tide them over any future problems.

“However, some of the sums being stashed at home are eye-watering!  if you decide to keep a reasonable amount of cash at home, check your home insurance to make sure you have the cover you need.  Don’t store your money in places where it can easily be lost or damaged.  Keep it in a safe place, ideally in a secure, fire and water proof container such as a home safe – not under the mattress or the bath.”     

For more information about home contents insurance visit:


For further information please contact:

Anders Nilsson or Martyn John or Louisa Marsden at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 654 725 / 01633 655 132

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

*On 20 July 2018, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,004 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

**Source: From the research, 80% of people keep some cash at home. The number of UK adults 18 and over is 51,767,543 (ONS June 2017 Population estimates for UK England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).  80% of 51,767,543 = 41,414,034.  On average people in the UK keep £186.6 at home.  41,414,034 x £186.6 = £7,727,858,819.

***Source: Defaqto Matrix of 422 home contents insurance policies (26 July 2018) – instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto.  Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.

About GoCompare

GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. Gocompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

GoCompare does not sell its customers’ data.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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Contact Information

Louisa Marsden

Senior PR Executive


01633 655 132