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Poll: Korea’s rich save most in banks

May 29,2009
Korea’s wealthy save more money and spend less than their peers in other Asian countries, according to a recent consumer survey of 4,106 people in top income brackets in eight Asian countries including Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

In the poll by Visa Card, 91 percent of Korean respondents said they save every month, comparable to results for China and Singapore and close behind India’s 94 percent. Only 74 percent of the Australian rich save monthly, slightly lower than 78 percent in Japan.

Wealthy Koreans said they put an average of 31 percent of their monthly incomes into bank savings, the highest among all the respondents and far higher than the overall average of 23 percent. Belying the widely-held belief that they are the heaviest savers in Asia, Japanese polled said they only deposit 16 percent of their monthly income in the bank.

Bank savings was by far the most common financial investment among Koreans, with 99 percent saying they owned such accounts, followed by 77 percent with life insurance accounts and 57 percent with financial investment fund accounts.

The report also showed rich Koreans spend about $1,299 on average each month, which ranked them as the sixth-biggest spenders among the eight countries.

At the top were the Australia rich, who said they spend an average of $3,861 each month, followed by $2,541 for Japan and $2,327 for Singapore, though spending patterns may depend on price levels and currency rates against the U.S. dollar.

Visa polled people in the top 20 to 40 percent income bracket across Asia from September to October last year.



By Jung Ha-won [hawon@joongang.co.kr]



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