One third of Brits lend to relatives

A total of 16.4 million UK adults have offered family members a loan, with the borrowed money totalling £1.6bn.

As many as 41% of lenders don’t expect to get money back, with one in five (19%) not expecting a repayment and 22% being unsure whether they will be reimbursed.

The average sum of money lent is £100.

Ian Williams, spokesman for Debt Advisory Centre, said: “Putting your hand in your pocket to help out a family member is very common across the UK.

“What is less common is actually seeing the loan repaid – and many people find it very hard to raise the subject of an unpaid loan with a family member.

“To avoid the possibility of misunderstandings and bad feeling it makes sense for both the lender and the borrower to agree a firm arrangement up front on exactly what will be repaid and when.”

Just 17% make sure they agree a repayment date when handing over a loan, while 26% will not actively pursue it.

Two-fifths (41%) admitted that the amount of money lent determines their attitude towards chasing up on it.

Younger people are the most likely to lend to members of the family, as more than half of 18 to 24-year-olds (56%) said they have given a loan to a relative in the last year, compared to 23% of 45 to 55 year olds.