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Season of goodwill? Let's hope so...

Forget Brussels sprouts and parsnips, it’s all about hot potatoes this festive season. For more than one million Britons, Christmas is more than a time for getting together and celebrating, it’s an opportunity to broach a difficult subject.

According to new research, released today by Barclays, Christmas Day is seen as the perfect soap box for asking the family for a substantial cash injection, airing dirty laundry and announcing big, life-changing news.

After broaching family issues (13%), the next hot topic for discussion over Christmas this year will be money matters. Just over one in ten (11%) Britons – that’s 5.4m of us - are planning to ask their families for financial help such as a home deposit.


  • Addressing a family issue/skeletons in the closet (13%)
  • Financial help (e.g. house purchase) (11%)
  • Wills or inheritance (8%)
  • Change of career (6%)
  • Sexual Orientation (5%)
  • A new relationship (4%)
  • Announcing a pregnancy (4%)
  • Asking a partner’s family to propose marriage (2%)

Andy Gray, Managing Director Mortgages at Barclays commented: “For many of us Christmas is a time for being merry and giving so it comes as no surprise that we use this occasion, when spirits are high, to have these somewhat difficult conversations with our family. However, in these tough times the gift of giving can be hard. Our research has shown that, despite wanting to help out, almost half (49%) of British parents would find it hard to gift their children with that much needed deposit for a house. To help, Barclays has introduced a mortgage scheme, the Family Mortgage Range, to aid adult children onto the property ladder with help from their family.”

First time buyers - the bank of Mum and Dad

The research also revealed that almost two-thirds of Brits (60%) wouldn’t be able to get onto the property ladder without the help of their parents. And they’re not alone:

  • The Bank of Mum and Dad has added £23bn to the first-time buyer housing market between 2008 and 2011
  • 85% of first time buyers say they are turning to family financing because of the difficulties of accessing traditional mortgages
  • 64% of all first-time buyers (or those buyers returning to the market) were assisted in their purchase3

For more information about Barclays Helpful Start and the Family Mortgage Range visit

Notes to editors

The study also revealed:

· Brits are most likely to broach a difficult subject with their family after Christmas dinner, when the family are relaxing in front of the television or playing games

· 13% of Brits plan to address family issues or air skeletons in the closet with their nearest and dearest this Christmas

· More than one in ten Britons (13%), the equivalent to just over 8m adults, will turn to mum when they need to borrow money for a big purchase, such as a deposit for a house

· The younger generation, those aged between 18 and 24, feel the strain most when it comes to money, with more than one in ten (14%) finding it the most difficult subject to discuss with their family

· One in five men (20%) are planning to ask for a financial gift of more than £200 this Christmas compared to just 2% of women

· Women are more inclined to turn to their mothers for financial support than their fathers (13% vs. 10% respectively), dispelling the age old saying of ‘Daddy’s little girl’

· Just under 2.5million4 Britons will use the Christmas as an occasion to ‘come out’ to their family

· Almost 2million5 will announce a new relationship or pregnancy to their family circle

About the research

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,058 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th - 28th November 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

1. The 5.4m figure has been calculated based on 49.4 m UK adults, multiplied by the mean amount that respondents that cited they will be asking for financial help this Christmas. ONS Population estimates mid-2010

2. The 1 million figure has been calculated based on 49.4 m UK adults, multiplied by the mean amount that respondents that cited they will be broaching a difficult subject this Christmas. ONS Population estimates mid-2010

3. Stats on first time buyer market based on research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and HSBC – October 2012. CML Publication 14 December 2011.

4. Calculated based on 49.4 m UK adults, multiplied by the mean amount that respondents that cited they will be announcing their sexual orientation to their family this Christmas. ONS Population estimates mid-2010

5. Calculated based on 49.4 m UK adults, multiplied by the mean amount that respondents that cited they will be announcing a new relationship to their family this Christmas. ONS Population estimates mid-2010

About Barclays Helpful Start and Barclays the Family Mortgage Range

Helpful Start has been designed to help more buyers get on or move up the property ladder. Barclays first Helpful Start initiative is the Family Mortgage Range, which addresses the key issue of mortgage affordability. By combining your income with that of your family's through a joint mortgage application, we could help you get the mortgage you need.

About Barclays

Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia.

With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 140,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website