Aussies 'have more cash' to put in savings accounts

Australians have more cash than ever before, which could be good news for the savings accounts sector.

Bankwest’s Cash Report 2009 shows that there is a record $46 billion worth of notes and coins circulating in the country, which is the equivalent of each person in the country having $2,092 to spend.

This represents a 71 per cent rise in the amount of available money in the past decade.

Cash per person has risen by $221 over the last year alone, according to the study, which compiled data from the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Payments Clearing Association.

Bankwest business chief executive officer Paul Clark explained the boom may be explained by the federal government’s fiscal stimulus package that ploughed some $12.2 billion into the economy in the wake of the recession.

"It is also possible that many people started hoarding cash during the recent global financial crisis," he commented.

Furthermore, low interest rates and easier access to cash through an increasing number of ATMs may have also prompted higher levels of spending, the bank concluded.

When it comes to paying on plastic, Aussies are more inclined to opt for debit cards, according to Reserve Bank of Australia data published earlier this month.

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