Why your mother-in-law is more generous than you thought

They are perhaps the most maligned and poorly-thought-of part of the family dynamic.

However, new research has shown that the mother-in-law is the most generous and giving member when it comes to the giving of gifts.

Rather than living up to their mean and grumpy images, mothers-in-law are showering relatives with cash and gifts, a survey has found.

On average, people who had received cash gifts from their mother-in-law in the last year were given £3,093, according to the research for GE Capital Direct.

Brothers were found to be the next most generous relatives, with people who had received money from a brother in the last year getting £1,598 typically.

And when it comes to receiving gifts from parents, fathers tend have deeper pockets, giving around one and-a-half times the sum that mothers hand out, the research among more than 2,000 people found.

However, the gift giving is not resulting in any particular spending sprees.

Around one in four people who received a cash gift from a relative in the last year said the money went straight into a savings account.

On average, gift recipients waited for six and-a-half weeks before spending the money.

Here are the five most generous family members, according to the research, with the average amount received from them in the last year:

1. Mother-in-law, £3,093

2. Brother, £1,598

3. Father, £1,370

4. Mother, £883

5. Grandfather, £842.