New research has revealed that more than seven million people have lost a friend as a result of an argument over money. The findings, from ISA provider Scottish Friendly, highlighted that just over one in ten people (15 per cent) no longer kept in contact with a friend following a dispute around finances.

·         7 million people say that they have lost contact with a friend because of a financial dispute

·         Men are most likely to lose friends because of money issues

·         One in three people aged between 24 and 35 (28 per cent) admit to losing friends over finances

Men were found to be particularly prone to losing their mates, with 17 per cent of men saying that they had cut ties with a friend because of finances as opposed to just 13 per cent of women. In addition, the trend does seem to be particularly prevalent among ‘Gen Y’ respondents. Indeed, a massive one in three people aged between 24 and 35 (28 per cent) say they have lost friends over money, compared to just nine per cent among those aged over 45.

Calum Bennie, communications manager at Scottish Friendly, commented: “Money can be a very personal and very touchy subject. While friends often want to help each other in financial difficulty, if that show of support is abused, it can often be seen as a breach of trust and cause deep rooted resentment between people.”

Londoners seem to be the most likely to fight about money, with just over a quarter (27 per cent) having had a dispute with their friends, compared to people in Northern Ireland where fewer than ten per cent claiming to have fallen out over money.

Bennie continued: “If you do lend money to people or offer financial assistance to a friend, it is important that all parties are on the same page and go into an agreement with their eyes wide open. If you are going to lend money to someone you should make sure they will be in a position to pay it back or at least be sure you won’t miss the money if it is not repaid in the short term. Regardless, helping a friend in financial difficulty may not always be about the cash. Sometimes, advice and support can be as powerful and lending someone money”.

Scottish Friendly offers its top tips on how to lend money to friends and maintain a friendship:

Only lend what you can afford

Never lend more than you can afford to lose. If the money does not get paid back, you need to decide if you would be willing to forgive the debt so that you might preserve the friendship.

Everyone should want to be in the agreement

Make sure that you don’t get emotionally blackmailed into lending money. In the same regard, make sure that your support will be well received and that the recipient does not feel embarrassed by the gesture. In both of these cases, resentment could develop and fracture your relationship.

Discuss Terms

Make sure you go into any agreement with your eyes open and talk about a repayment plan; lending money cannot be a one-sided process. By laying out the terms of how the financial relationship could work, you can move on with your friendship on the understanding that, as long as the terms are met, there will be no problems between the two of you.

Don’t involve yourself after the act

Don’t try and manage a person’s spending after you’ve given your friend the money. Once you’ve loaned the money, then it is no longer in your control. Obsessing over how it’s spent will only serve to cause resentment to both parties.