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Frugal Swiss prefer to save

What would you do if you were given SFr50,000 ($49,500)? Most Swiss would shove it in the bank, according to a survey published on Friday.

This is in marked contrast to their neighbours in France and Italy, where only one in six respondents would invest such a windfall. In those countries jewellery and other luxury goods were the first things to pop into people's heads.

A poll carried out by the opinion research institute Isopublic for Reader's Digest magazine revealed that 57.5 per cent of German-speaking Swiss would set the money aside for a rainy day. Fifty-three per cent of their French-speaking compatriots would do the same.

The thriftiest Swiss of all were found in mountain regions and in communes of fewer than 10,000 people, where 63 per cent of respondents would put the money in the bank.

One in four – mostly city dwellers – would go on holiday, and only one in ten would spend it on expensive clothes and jewellery.

While men were more likely to buy luxury goods than women (7.8 per cent compared with 4.4 per cent), women were more likely to make a charitable donation (5.5 per cent to 1.8 per cent).

Some 1,000 people took part in the Swiss part of the survey. and agencies