ParentsParents are giving financial help worth thousands of pounds to their children to help pay off debts, run a car, get married or even have cosmetic surgery, according to a new study.

A survey of 2,000 adults by savings bank ING Direct showed that some parents give money until their sons or daughters are into their 40s.

Just over one in four parents said they provided "significant" financial assistance, with one in 10 handing over an estimated £30,000, said the report.

Parents take out loans or use retirement savings to help their children, it was found.

ING Direct chief executive Richard Doe said: "We've all heard of the bank of mum and dad being called on for a mortgage deposit or help with university fees, but it seems there are more unusual requests from children nowadays.

"It's also interesting to note that parents, who have often saved for decades to help their children, often make out like the money is a loan, but realistically don't expect to see the money back."