One in five UK adults not financially resilient

Rebecca Tomes
June 23, 2021
(IFA Magazine)


New research from MetLife UK reveals one in five Brits are not financially resilient and nearly one in three have seen their finances worsen as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

One in five (19%) UK adults – equivalent to more than 10 million Brits – say they are not financially resilient, according to new research from MetLife UK. This means Brits’ feel they wouldn’t be able to manage their situation on their own without taking out a loan or using a credit card.

The research, which explores consumer views of financial protection in a Covid-19 world, found that although 60% of consumers say they feel financially resilient, almost a third (29%) admit that this would only be the case if they were to receive help from a family member, their partner or someone else.

The global pandemic has thrown people’s finances off balance, so much so that almost a third (29%) –more than 15 million Brits – say their financial situation has worsened, of which almost one in ten (8%) say it has done so significantly, while one in five (19%) admit it has done so, but only slightly.

Despite whether UK adults feel financially resilient or not, one in four (25%) –more than 13 million UK adults – admit to having no disposable income to fall back on should they need it, whether that’s paying bills, making a mortgage payment or rent. As a result, a third (33%) of Brits say they worry about their financial situation when thinking about the short-term (6-12 months). And this number slightly drops to 31% when thinking about the longer-term (more than 12 months).


Rich Horner, Head of Individual Protection at MetLife, comments:

“Many financial fears have come true for so many over the last 12 months. Having to use up savings to make ends meet, borrow money, pay cuts, taking time off work unpaid due to accident or illness or to care for a loved one – the list is endless. The ‘it’ll never happen to me’ premise has never felt so prominent. So, although worrying, the reality is that many people have no savings to fall back on. And unfortunately, it can easily spiral. The combination of worrying about having no disposable income and not having any savings can have a significant impact on mental health and an uneasy feeling of being extremely financially vulnerable.

“We need to support and encourage people to review what solutions are out there in the immediate future but also the longer-term, such as financial protection – a safety net that in cases such as illness, time off work or an accident– can make a real difference.  Ultimately, it’s important that people plan today to help their future selves to feel and become, financially resilient.”

 The research also explored how resilient those living across the UK felt compared to other regions. Those living in the South East (35%) say they are most resilient, followed closely by those living in Yorkshire and the Humber (34%) and the East of England (34%) respectively. In the West Midlands (25%) are most likely to not feel financially resilient, followed by those in the North East (28%) and North West (28%).



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