Move aside, Mum and Dad - Brits Now Trust 'Bank of Grandma and Grandad' for Quick Cash Fixes

Move aside, Mum and Dad - Brits Now Trust 'Bank of Grandma and Grandad' for Quick Cash Fixes

·       Over half (52%) of Brits have asked their grandparents for money

·       Almost two thirds (63%) of men have asked for handouts compared to 43% of women, with men typically being gifted three times as much

·       A quarter of people think their grandparents are ‘money pits’

·       Jason Butler, Global Financial Wellbeing Expert, offers a balanced view on why the ‘Bank of Grandma and Grandad’ is becoming more popular

·       Ambassador extends closing date for Grandparent of the Year nominations ahead of National Grandparents’ Day

Parents, step aside - there is a new bank in town! New research from Ambassador Cruise Line has found that the ‘Bank of Grandma and Grandad’ is on the rise, as more than half of Brits (52%) have asked their grandparents for money, with 5% even getting their parents to do their dirty work for them.

The survey commissioned by the UK’s premium-value, no-fly cruise line ahead of National Grandparent’s Day on 1  October, has revealed that the average amount gifted to grandchildren over the past 12 months has been a whopping £4,464.70, with men being offered £6,823.80, a staggering 211% more than their female counterparts at £2,192.30.

And if viewing grandparents as an extra pot of cash wasn’t cheeky enough, a quarter of Brits (24%) have admitted to only using their grandparents as money pits, because they have “plenty of spare cash”.

The poll of 1,000 respondents has shown that men have mastered the art of asking their doting grandparents for money, with almost two thirds (63%) tapping into the Bank of Grandma and Grandad versus just 43% of women.

Jason Butler, Global Financial Wellbeing Expert with over 25 years of financial expertise, says: “This research shows that gender inequality seems to extend to family wealth transfers, with a much higher proportion of men mastering the withdrawal slip at the 'Bank of Grandma and Grandad', asking for a lot more than their female counterparts. So, when it comes to financial gifts, ladies need to remember that if they don't ask, they don't always get the family financial help available.”

However, it seems the growing number of Brits relying on the Bank of Grandma and Grandad is being driven by grandparents too, with one in five respondents disclosing that they are offered financial support every time they see their grandparents. Heartwarmingly, just under half said they had asked their grandparents for money in the past because they had almost always been willing and ready to support them.

Nearly half of us (44%) that receive money from our grandparents do so with little idea of what we are going to spend it on, incorporating it into our day-to-day expenses or general finances. One in ten (9%) use the money to pay for a holiday, with a similar number (11%) putting it towards a wedding or a honeymoon. 10% of those that received money did so in the form of an early inheritance.

Jason continues: “With inheritance tax receipts reaching new highs - £3.2B was paid by estates from April to August 2023 compared to £2.9B for the same period the year before - grandparents may be more inclined to pass on wealth to their grandchildren now when it can make a real difference, and avoid a large amount being lost to the taxman.”

Additionally, the Bank of Grandma and Grandad is helping fund initiatives that are making a positive impact on their grandchildren’s lives. Moving far beyond just topping up pocket money, more than one in five (23%) said the money offered had helped to fund their education and 11% credit their grandparents for supporting them onto the first rung of the property ladder.

Jason continues: “The new research shows that family traditions, a desire for success, and pure selflessness are just some reasons why the 'Bank of Grandma and Grandad' keeps its doors open. And it isn't just for pocket change—it's funding dreams, aspirations, and life's important moments, from education to first homes.”

Despite their generosity, and just like the rest of the nation, some of the people behind the Bank of Grandma and Grandad are struggling to make ends meet during the cost-of-living crisis, with 45% of those polled disclosing that the current situation has affected their grandparents’ ability to offer financial support.

For others, the support acts as a lifeline, with 7% saying that this period of economic difficulty has meant they have completely relied on monetary support from their grandparents.

With the economic situation younger people are grappling with right now, the Bank of Grandma and Grandad is one of the few support options for many. The top five reasons people believe they are given money are:

  1. Grandparents feeling an obligation to support their grandchildren (43%)
  2. It's part of their family values or cultural traditions (31%)
  3. Grandparents selflessly choosing to spend money on family over themselves (28%)
  4. Grandparents’ desire to see their grandchildren succeed and make the most out of life (27%)
  5. Grandparents having disposable income to spare (24%)

Signs of withdrawal: Bank of Grandma and Grandad is accompanied by a guilt receipt

For grandchildren, grandparent gifting often comes with a cost – guilt. Over a third (37%) of us feel shame when accepting money from our grandparents, with 19% stating this stems from not being able to stand on their own two feet financially and being forced to lean on grandparents for support.

Overwhelmingly, the Bank of Grandma and Grandad is seen as a loan of love

Where money is concerned, family rifts can often erupt - yet this isn’t the case with the Bank of Grandma and Grandad. A third of people have claimed their biggest feeling when receiving money from their grandparents is “embarrassed but grateful”, closely followed by feeling “happy, because I know they like to help out”.

Jason adds: “While banks talk interest rates, the 'Bank of Grandma and Grandad' speaks in love and selflessness, with love the prevailing currency.”

Surprisingly, around six in 10 (59%) say the money lent to them is purely a gift and there is no expectation that this will be paid back – a true show of love from elder family members. But even so, a fifth of people say they will “try to negotiate a way to pay them back” and 27% have said that they will be paying the money back either in full or in instalments, suggesting that not all grandchildren willingly accept money from their grandparents without repaying their debts.

Christian Verhounig CEO of Ambassador Cruise Line says: "While previously it has been parents as the go-to source when children were in need, Ambassador’s research has found that the Bank of Grandma and Grandad may now be the preferred money source for grandchildren. In fact, many grandparents are more than happy to help out as they want their grandchildren to succeed and get on in life.

“Even in the face of the current economic challenges, the Bank of Grandma and Grandad has remained open for business. The unwavering support offered should be recognised and is a luxury the youth of today should not be taking for granted. Where possible, recipients of the Bank of Grandma and Grandad should show their appreciation for the most unconventional but loyal bank they are ever likely to experience.”

Payback: Ambassador looks to reward Nation’s Greatest Grandparent in search for Grandparent of the Year

The survey was conducted by Ambassador after the premium value, no-fly cruise line, which specialises in adult-only sailings aimed at the 50+ market along with multigenerational cruises, launched a search for its first ever Grandparent of the Year to mark National Grandparents' day (press release here).

Calling on the nation to afford this little-known national day the same honourable status as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, the brand is encouraging friends and family to nominate their grandparent (or someone they know who is a grandparent) for the national title – with a cruise holiday going to the Grandma or Grandad deemed worthy of the title.  The closing date for nominations has been extended to Sunday 1 October, with the winners named soon after - visit www.ambassadorcruiseline.com/national-grandparents-day to find out more.

Additional findings on how the younger generation interacts with their grandparents, if they see them as much as they might and whether they could do more to show their appreciation for all that they do for the family unit, were published by Ambassador last week – click here for the press release.



Notes to Editors:

Research conducted by Mortar Research of 1,000 UK adults with one living grandparent in September 2023.

For accompanying images, please click on the download link here.

For further press information, please contact:

Braden Cantalope / Sarah Geppert / Charlotte Wright / Emma Arthurs 

Rooster PR

T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930

E: [email protected]


National Grandparent of the Year - Terms & Conditions:

  • The prize provider is Ambassador Cruise Line, Gateway House, Stonehouse Ln, Purfleet RM19 1NS
  • The competition prize is 1 x adults-only cruise holiday for two people (sharing a cabin) for up to 7 nights or 2 x multigenerational sailing for four people (sharing two cabins) for up to 7 nights in 2023/2024 with Ambassador Cruise Line including ocean view cabin accommodation and full board. 
  • The prize excludes: travel insurance; travel joining costs to the cruise terminal/port; port parking; onboard expenditure of a personal nature i.e. drinks, gifts, shopping, laundry, communications etc; any visa & health certificate charges that may apply; and crew gratuities, which will be automatically billed to your onboard account at £6pp per night unless you opt for a drinks package.
  • The prize is as described, is not transferable and there is no cash alternative. 
  • All nominations/entries must be received by the closing date of 1 October 2023.
  • The entry criteria will be to complete the nomination form in full and abide by the T&Cs; the winner selection will be made by an appointed group of judges and will be based on the written entries. The judges’ decision is final.
  • Ambassador Cruise Line reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal value should circumstances become necessary. 
  • The winner must hold a valid passport and comprehensive travel insurance with COVID-19 cover. It is the winner’s responsibility to check any visa and health requirements for the cruise. 
  • The winner may be required to take part in publicity resulting from the prize draw. 
  • Ambassador has permission to use the winner’s name, image, and details from the entry in social media, media materials, and marketing materials (which may be shared publicly) in relation to the competition. 
  • Entry into the competition assumes acceptance of the rules. 
  • The prize winner must respond to Ambassador within 48 hours of contact.
  • Ambassador Cruise Line and its PR agency Rooster PR will book the holiday prize within 28 days of the winner accepting the prize.
  • Prize is subject to availability and blackout dates may apply.

About Ambassador Cruise Line

Ambassador Cruise Line launched in 2021, offering premium-value no-fly cruises to the UK market. Based in Purfleet, Essex, Ambassador provides authentic adult-only experiences combined with a selection of multi-generational itineraries to multiple destinations including the Nordics, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Africa. The cruise line’s first ship, Ambience, entered the fleet in May 2022, operating from her home port of London Tilbury. From the 2023/24 season, guests sail onboard Ambience as well as Ambassador’s second ship, Ambition, which sailed her maiden voyage in May 2023 and heralds the launch of sailings from eight regional UK ports: London Tilbury, Newcastle, Dundee, Edinburgh Leith, Liverpool, Belfast, Bristol, and Falmouth.  The company’s no-fly holiday options offer guests from across the country the chance to drive to a port, park their car and board ships with a minimum of hassle, thereby avoiding airport queues, potential flight cancellations or exchange rate fluctuations, given that the currency onboard the Ambassador fleet is in pound sterling

Ambassador’s extremely experienced management team is led by Chief Executive Officer, Christian Verhounig, and its principal shareholder is Njord Partners LLP, London. Ambassador is a member of ABTA, the UK’s leading travel trade association widely acknowledged as the mark of trust and reassurance associated with travel brands. Consumer funds are protected by means of a financial failure insurance policy managed by TMU Management Limited and underwritten by Accelerant Insurance Europe SA, who are regulated by the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA 3193). The scheme is fully compliant with the Package Travel and Linked Arrangements Regulations 2018. For more information, visit www.ambassadorcruiseline.com