London: Friends lend each other nearly 40pounds a year, but one-fourth end up writing off small loans because they are too embarrassed to ask their pals to pay them back, a new survey reveals.
The poll by Moneybookers, an online payment service, saw one in three people saying they had no qualms about lending money to their friends, while another one-third reported they doled out money despite knowing they would struggle to get it back.
The survey, for which over 3,000 people were quizzed across Britain, witnessed seven in ten respondents saying they would politely remind their friends about 5-10pounds they owe, but still wouldn``t get back the money before at least two weeks.
About 4percent had to wait almost a year or more before they saw their money again.
"We all want to help our friends out, but lending mates the odd fiver here and there can soon mount up if getting your money back is difficult," The Scotsman quoted Martin Ott, of Moneybookers, as saying.
He added: "It can be embarrassing to keep asking for it back, but it seems persistence may be the key."
The most common reason for lending money was to tide a friend over until pay day if they have had an expensive month and have been left short of cash to pay the bills.
Taxi journeys, lunch at workplace or buying drinks at the bar also emerged as common ways by which one friend ended up owing another.
Six per cent of those surveyed said they typically picked up the bill in coffee shops.
Bad experiences had led to 7percent no longer lending money to friends, the poll found.