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6.4M* Brits leave it until Christmas Day to buy their presents

  • Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of Brits struggle to find a present for their partner
  • 16 per cent of Brits forget to purchase a Christmas gift for a loved one
  • Barclays Pingit Gifts offer a stress-free last minute solution to buying Christmas gifts

Research released today reveals that we are a truly disorganised nation when it comes to Christmas gifts with 16 per cent of Brits forgetting to buy a single present for a loved one during the festive period. Even among those who do remember to buy presents, one in ten Brits (10 per cent) admitted that they leave it until Christmas Day for a last-minute dash to the shops.

Barclays, who commissioned the research, found that partners were deemed the most difficult to buy for, with nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of Brits saying they struggle to find a present for their other half. It seems the solution to this for most people is to throw money at the problem, with over a third (36 per cent) stating that they spend more on their partner’s gift than anyone else.

The results re-affirm gender stereotypes by highlighting men as the worst offenders with 12 per cent admitting they leave it until Christmas Day to buy their presents, while only 8 per cent of women cut it so fine. Nearly half (45 per cent) of men admitted to relying on their partner to purchase the family’s Christmas gifts.

It seems that as we get older, rather than becoming more forgetful, our festive ‘present-buying memory’ serves us even better. Nearly a third (29 per cent) of the 18-24 year olds respondents had forgotten to buy a present, compared to just 8 per cent of those aged 55 and over – almost four times as many.

Darren Foulds, Managing Director of Barclays Mobile Banking and Pingit, said: “Busy lives and a desire to avoid the crowds mean it’s no surprise that many people leave their present shopping to the last minute. Thankfully while a petrol station may have traditionally been the only option for frantic shoppers, consumers can now use their mobile or tablet to buy last minute Christmas gifts in time for the big day.   

Since its launch consumers have used Barclays Pingit to send money quickly and safely, but can now also choose from a range of fantastic gifts including experience days, Gift cards, subscriptions and iTunes services – which mean it’s even easier to send thoughtful, last minute gifts for friends and family.”

The survey also uncovered a regional divide in the nation’s present-buying habits. Londoners are the most forgetful, with over a quarter (26 per cent) admitting they forget to buy someone a gift and 27 per cent starting their shopping on Christmas Eve.

Outside of London it’s a different story; Nottingham is the most thoughtful city, with only 9 per cent stating they had forgotten to buy a present. Meanwhile, people in Northern Ireland are the most generous, with a third (33 per cent) saying that they spend an average of £41 or more on each gift.

Surprisingly, some of us appear to be at a particular loss with what to buy certain loved ones for Christmas with those questioned revealing particularly badly-thought-out gift choices. Some of the worst include:

  • 20 feet of chain
  • Car exhaust 
  • Giant jar of pickled gherkins
  • Loaf of bread
  • Pack of bean sprouts
  • Extension lead for a garden mower (no surprise that this was for a now ex-wife)
  • Can of Spam
  • Hoover bags
  • Maggots
  • Ladder

For further information or to download the Barclays Pingit app, visit

Notes to Editors
* 1 in 10 of adult UK population, according to 2013 ONS census

  • Pingit is available for Barclays customers and non-customers as long as they have a UK current account and is free to download
  • There is no transaction fee for payments 
  • 45 thousand businesses accept payment by Pingit in the UK

Pingit Gifts are available from a wide range of retailers, including: Aeria Games, Bella Italia, Bin Weevils, Café Rouge, Cineworld, Debenhams, Ernest Jones, H Samuel, Hotel Voucher Shop, iTunes, SpaFinder Wellness 365, TicketMaster, Spotify, Facebook, Nintendo and Treat Me.

About Barclays

Barclays is an international financial services provider engaged in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth management with an extensive presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way.

With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs approximately 135,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website