A £6 billion raid on savings accounts is under way as Christmas looms ever larger on the horizon.
A massive hole is set to be left in the nation's savings as people step up their festive spending in advance of the big day, according to Santander.
With household budgets tightening and living costs on the rise, Britons are increasingly relying on their savings to fund Christmas.
According to the research, a third of people plan to withdraw an average of £391 from their savings accounts in the next couple of weeks, of which around three quarters will use the money to buy presents.
One in seven people will be withdrawing almost double the amount from their savings this year to cover their festive spending compared to last year.
Worryingly, however, savings are not only being used to fund Christmas.
Around one in ten Brits admitted they are raiding their savings in order to pay for their heating bills through the winter months.
Yet while people are dipping into their nest eggs, the overriding attitude towards either saving or spending money appears to be relatively cautious.
Indeed, when asked what they would do if given £1,000 tomorrow, the most popular option (29%) was to save it for a rainy day.
Slightly fewer (28%) said they would use it to pay off outstanding bills, and 18% said they would spend it on Christmas.
"The festive period is usually an expensive time, with many people dipping into their savings to cover the cost of presents as well as increased winter bills, and this year looks set to make a significant dent in the nation's savings," said Matt Hall, head of savings at Santander.
Find the best savings rates for you - Compare savings accounts
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your computer’s
hard drive. This includes tracking cookies.