Parents Are Still 'Future-proofing' Child Funds Despite Credit Crunch; Family Investments Sees Biggest Peak in CTF Top-Ups Since Launch

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New findings from Family Investments, the UK's leading Child Trust Fund (CTF) provider, have shown that more parents than ever are putting aside savings for their children's future despite the credit crunch. This month has seen the highest rate of tops ups to date since the government first introduced the scheme in April 2005.

Family Investments figures show that the number of people regularly topping up their child trust fund has risen by 43% over the last 3 years. 37% of Family Investments CTF's now have a monthly direct debit compared to 25% back in May 2005 when the scheme had just launched.

What's more, despite purse strings tightening in the current economic climate, nearly a third of parents (27%) now feel they would be willing to put aside up to £50 a month, which if put towards their child's future could amount to enough to place a 10% house deposit at age18.

Whilst this was the general feeling across 17 major cities across the UK, saving for short term expenditures came as a priority over saving for the future for well over a third of parents in Newcastle (37%), Norwich (37%) and Sheffield (35%). Norwich was also the region with the highest number of people (32%) who do not put aside any savings at all on a monthly basis in comparison to Edinburgh where two thirds of the population (75%) put aside money every month.

For those who are saving more for short term expenditures, the general feeling is that parents find it difficult to juggle between saving for their children's future and giving them things now.

Kate Baker, group marketing manager of Family Investment said: 'In our experience, there is a strong parental desire to save for their children's future. This is not necessarily driven by rational end goals, such as university costs or house deposits. Saving for children is actually driven by a sense of parental obligation. It is about being a good parent and driven by a desire to give your kids the same or more opportunities that they had as children. That means that, when things are tight as they currently are, children's savings are sacrosanct and will be the last thing to be cut, while parents might be more willing to sacrifice their own savings.'

With this in mind, this week Family Investments has enhanced the online experience for its customers by launching a new internet account management service, Online Wizard, making it simpler for parents to manage their child's CTF account. Family Investments is the first CTF provider to offer this service, which allows parents to manage many aspects of their child's CTF online.

Family Investments commissioned to survey 2437 UK parents, aged 16 and above March 2008
Top-up findings are based on Family Investments own data September 2002- May 2008

About Family Investments

Family Investments is the trading name of Family Assurance Friendly Society - one of the UK's largest Friendly Societies with in excess of £1.7bn funds under management and over 1m policies

Family Investments is the market leading Child Trust Fund provider with our Child Trust Fund account available in approximately 18,000 high street locations - four times greater than any other provider. Family's partnerships include the Post Office, Barclays, Sainsbury's Bank, Bounty, Coventry Building Society, Bradford & Bingley, Clydesdale Bank, Northern Bank, Yorkshire Bank, Nectar and Early Learning Centre

Family Investments is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority


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Gemma Bull
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