The race to save

The race to save: How the emerging affluent are preparing for tomorrow

Welcome to the 2017 Standard Chartered Emerging Affluent Report

Saving money is the first step in building a better life, one in which it's possible to make aspirations a reality. But it's not easy. Around the world, a generation of up-and-comers are making themselves heard in the world's economic centres: the emerging affluent. In this group lies much of the future wealth and power of the global economy.

Here, we tell their story, including the sizeable opportunity for the emerging affluent to change their approach and achieve their saving goals sooner.

Dive in

Money tree

Our findings

We spoke to 8,000 of the emerging affluent across eight markets, exploring what defines the next generation of savers across some of the world's most promising economies, as well as the problems they face.

The markets included were China, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore and Taiwan.

Going for growth

Achieving your savings potential isn't easy, but it can be rewarding. This year's study reveals that the emerging affluent could increase their savings by an average of 42 per cent* over 10 years by taking advantage of basic wealth management strategies. In other words, there is a golden opportunity for the emerging affluent to reach their savings goals faster by taking a more advanced approach to saving.

Let's look at this in more detail...

*average figure for China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan


Why is this happening?

Despite being in a strong position to grow their wealth – with 67% saving monthly – the emerging affluent are missing out by relying on basic savings methods. By taking a more advanced approach, they could significantly grow their nest egg.

Basic savings methods include: savings accounts, time deposits/fixed-term deposits and regular deposit savings plans. Advanced savings methods include: mutual funds, stocks/equities, fixed income and pensions.

While 31% of savers consider themselves close to reaching their savings goals, 41% say they are far from achieving their main priorities.

The percentage of the emerging affluent who are close and far away from achieving their savings goals in each market.

The reward for adopting a more advanced approach to saving could be extremely significant – a 42% increase in returns on average.

Percentage uplift in returns over 10 years, comparing the most popular savings method to a low-risk wealth management investment approach.

Pakistan and Kenya data not available

The bigger picture

The emerging affluent are lighting a fire under economic growth in some of the world's most dynamic markets, and our research has found that there is a wider story to tell about the way they save.

Pakistan's cash mountain

Money under a mattress

50% of savers in Pakistan are storing cash at home. While this could stem from a desire to be able to access savings at short notice or wanting to avoid risk, it leaves their savings exposed to theft or loss, and they lose out on interest.

China, a nation of entrepreneurs


Emerging affluent savers in China are the most entrepreneurially minded. More than one in 10 (12 per cent) of these consumers cite funding a business as their number one savings priority – double the global average of 6 per cent.

Interest rates holding savers back

Stock market chart

Almost a third (30 per cent) of emerging affluent in the markets surveyed cite low interest rates as a barrier to saving more. This sentiment is felt most strongly in China (39 per cent), Korea (38 per cent) and Taiwan (38 per cent).

Education is a top priority


The emerging affluent have their eyes set on the future. Saving for their children's education is among the top priorities, with almost a third (29 per cent) in Pakistan choosing it as their number one savings priority, and almost a quarter (23 per cent) in Kenya.

The digitally savvy save more

Digital tools

The emerging affluent who actively use digital tools are already reaping the rewards. In fact, frequent users save, on average, 8 per cent more of their income than those who use digital tools less often or not at all.

Millennials don't save for retirement


Millennials are not prioritising saving for retirement in any of the markets surveyed, but more worryingly, neither are 35-44 year olds. Much of Asia is sitting on a retirement time bomb as soaring education costs squeeze out retirement savings, and ageing populations mean that relying on family for support later in life is no longer economically viable.

Read the story of today's emerging affluent – and how they are preparing for tomorrow.

Download the report

The tool

Unsure how this relates to you? Benchmark yourself to find out whether you're in pole position or trailing the pack.

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Let Standard Chartered help you achieve your savings goals and maximise your savings potential.

Get in touch

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you save. Ask about our Premium programme, designed especially for the emerging affluent.


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This information is being distributed for general information only and it does not constitute an offer, recommendation or solicitation to enter into any transaction or adopt any hedging, trading or investment strategy, in relation to any securities or other financial instruments. This information is for general evaluation only, it does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person or class of persons and it has not been prepared for any particular person or class of persons. Investment products are subject to investment risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. Predictions, projections or forecasts contained herein are not necessarily indicative of actual future events and are subject to change without notice. Opinions, projections and estimates are solely those of SCB at the date of this document and subject to change without notice. See the report for Important Information and Disclosures.