News, Culture & Society

Fifth of Bank of Mum and Dad parents don’t tell them how much each gets

Three-quarters of children feel guilty about receiving help from the Bank of Mum and Dad to help them with their finances, new figures suggest.

What those guilty-feeling offspring may not be aware of, however, is that an increasing number of parents do not tell their children exactly how much each sibling in the family receives.

In fact, over 40 per cent of parents over the age of 55 decide how much money to dish out to their children on the basis of how well-off they are individually. 

Tension: Getting help from the Bank of Mum and Dad can can tension among siblings

One in five parents with multiple offspring do not tell their children how much they have given to each child, research by equity release firm Key suggests.

With rising rental and property costs, stagnant wages and higher inflation, many younger people are finding they need a financial boost from their parents.

Critics would argue, however, that times have always been tough and not too long ago interest rates were in double figures, putting pressure on millions of hard-up borrowers. 

But, in many cases, children feel guilty about getting this support and parents can be left financially stretched, Key’s research suggests.

Recent figures from Legal & General have suggested that one in five parents and grandparents now accept a lower standard of living to help their loved ones onto the property ladder – with some even postponing retirement to do so.

A quarter of under-40s say the financial handouts they have received from their parents have caused friction with siblings, Key’s findings show.

Interestingly, the majority of offspring aged 40 or under do not feel that they are entitled to handouts from their parents. Sixty-seven per cent reported their parents are under no obligation to dish out cash. 


Would you always tell each of your kids how much money you give them all?

But, many of the younger generation did harbour concerns of the ‘intergenerational wealth divide.’ 

Sixteen per cent of parents admitted they cannot afford to give any money to their adult children, while 22 per cent say they may have to provide financial support to their own elderly parents.

Commenting on the pressure the Bank of Mum and Dad handouts can put on families, Will Hale, chief executive of Key, said: ‘It is natural for parents to want to help children and grandchildren, but it is desperately sad if that comes with emotional costs on top of the financial costs.  

‘In an ideal world, the whole family should be involved in discussions about how much money is being paid out and in general the research shows most would be perfectly happy for siblings to receive more if they need the help more.

‘But of course, we don’t live in an ideal world and in extreme cases Bank of Mum and Dad bust-ups can end up in court. 

‘We believe advice is key and families should wherever possible seek independent help whether it’s from financial advisers or lawyers.’

Figures published last month suggest the Bank of Mum and Dad can expect to be £18,000 worse off from financially supporting their grown-up children. 

Tips for lending or gifting money to grown-up children 

1. Establish from the beginning whether the money is a gift or a loan. If it’s a gift, then there should be fewer problems

But if it’s a loan then it’s worth seeking legal advice and particularly if the loan is for buying a property and your child is married or living with a partner

2. If you’re a homeowner and become a shared owner of your child’s property, then your interest in the property will be regarded as a ‘second home’ which means you will be charged a higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax on the transaction.

3. If the money is a gift it could incur an Inheritance Tax Charge and specialist financial advice on estate planning could be valuable

4. It is important to consider updating your will particularly if you have more than one child and potential beneficiaries.

Source: Key