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Young Australians get serious about saving during COVID-19

Westpac announces up to 3% p.a. variable rate to give young Australian savers a boost

8 July 2020

Westpac research has found that the impact of COVID-19 has made the great Australian dream of owning a home even more important for younger generations, with two thirds of young Australianssaying they are now more motivated to save for their first home. 

The research highlighted that the pandemic has made younger Australians sharpen their focus on saving for the future, with nearly half (49%) planning to save more than they did before COVID-19 and eight in 10 (85%) choosing to either cut back on spending or hold off on large purchases to protect their hard-earned savings.

This is despite the findings showing that Australians under 30 are three times more likely to have lost their job and nearly twice as likely to have taken a pay cut or be working less hours because of COVID-19 compared to older age groups2.


Kathryn Carpenter, Westpac’s Head of Savings and Investments, said the impact of COVID-19 has encouraged many Australians to reassess their financial priorities.

“Building savings can already be challenging for young adults who are only just starting their financial journey, particularly in an environment like this where many are also now navigating changes to their income or employment.

“But while this has been a difficult time, it’s encouraging to see Australians are embracing this as an opportunity to get on top of their finances and make some positive changes.

“Most of us have spent more time than ever before at home over the past few months. It’s clear this has been a turning point for many younger Australians, who are thinking more about owning a space of their own in the future and prioritising saving for a deposit,” Ms Carpenter said. 

From 8 July, eligible customers will be able to unlock new bonus savings rates on their Westpac Life account when they make five eligible purchases with a debit card linked to their Westpac Choice account each month3.

  • Up to 3% p.a. savings rate available to customers who grow their savings each month4; and
  • Up to 2.40% p.a. savings rate in the months customers cannot grow their savings.

“We recognise the unique financial challenges this generation is facing and the flow on impact this can have to future wealth building, like buying a home.

“That’s why we’re committed to looking at solutions which balance everyday spending with the need to save to achieve their financial goals,” said Carpenter.

For more information, visit the Westpac website.

Media enquiries:

Westpac Media Relations

About the research

Fifth Dimension

The research conducted by Fifth Dimension was in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard. Fifth Dimension has surveyed 10,999 people aged 18+ from March 23 to June 4. 1,000 people are surveyed every week, and across the survey period 2,376 people aged 18 to 29 years have responded. Respondents are sourced from an accredited research panel across Australia (all major capital cities and regional areas) to complete an online survey. Data is weighted to be representative of the Australian population according to age, gender, and location in accordance with statistics provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).


Lonergan Research

The research was conducted by Lonergan Research in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard. Lonergan Research surveyed 1,176 Australians aged 18+. Surveys were distributed throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas. The survey was conducted online amongst members of a permission-based panel, between 18 May and 22 May 2020. After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the ABS.


1 Young Australians defined as 18-29 years of age in this research.

2 11% of Australians aged 18-29 have lost their job, 41% are working less hours and 15% have taken a pay cut because of COVID-19, compared to just 4%, 23% and 9% of those aged 30 and above.

3 Available to new and existing Westpac Life and Choice customers aged between 18 and 29 years old on balances up to $30,000. Full product information and T&Cs available via the Westpac website.

4 Life Bonus interest: Payable each month a customer; makes a deposit to the account, ensures the account balance is higher at the end than the beginning of the month, and keeps the account balance above $0.