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London is the UK’s savviest city

04 July 2014

Edinburgh, Nottingham, Leicester and Coventry make up the top five.

New Gocompare.com ‘Savvy City’ index reveals which cities are switched on and switched off when it comes to managing their money and knowing financial facts.

Londoners have proved that although the Scots may be canny with their cash, when it comes to money matters the nation’s financial centre is the UK’s savviest city.

Comparison website Gocompare.com compiled ten questions to test consumers' attitudes to managing their money together with their financial general knowledge in order to create the first ‘Savvy Cities Index’. Over 1500 adults from mainland UK’s 15 biggest cities by population took part in the research with topics including how often they review their finances, whether they shop around before making a major purchase, whether they read the financial sections of newspapers and websites, knowing the current base interest rate and knowing the cost of a pint of milk.

Overall Londoners came out on top with a Savvy score of 61.1 (see table below) narrowly beating Edinburgh in 2nd place with 58.4 and Nottingham in 3rd place with 55.1. The lowest scoring city was Sheffield with a score of 44.7. Sheffield also posted the lowest score for keeping on top of financial current affairs with just 10% of residents saying they read the financial sections of newspapers and websites. This compared to 35% of Londoners and 31% of consumers from Edinburgh.

  • London is the UK’s savviest city
  • Sheffield is last in the list of ‘Savvy Cities’
  • 80% of respondents regularly manage their money online
  • 61% of respondents did not know the approximate cost of a pint of milk
  • Less than half (47%) of respondents knew the current base interest rate
  • Just 43% have rainy day savings

Interestingly, the measure commonly used to test whether wealthy individuals are still in touch with the cost of day to day items – knowing the cost of a pint of milk – was answered incorrectly by over 60% of respondents. Just under half (49%) of consumers from Bradford correctly identified the correct price of a pint of milk as around 49p, the highest score of all 15 cities. The lowest score was from Birmingham with 32%.

Londoners lead the field in two important measures of financial wellbeing. They have the highest scores for having ‘rainy day’ savings (57%) and for usually keeping their bank accounts in credit or within their agreed overdraft limit (79%). The city with the lowest score for emergency savings is Sheffield (29%) and Mancunians are the least likely to keep their accounts in the black with 61%.

Nearly half (49%) of UK consumers failed to correctly identify the current Governor of the Bank of England as Mark Carney whilst 25% of consumers from Bradford believed Sir Mervyn King was still in charge. 22% of respondents from Sheffield thought George Osborne was the Governor of the Bank of England.

Less than half (47%) of all the respondents in the research correctly stated that the current Bank of England base interest rate was 0.5% despite it being at that level for over 5 years. Edinburgh scored most highly on that topic with 56% whilst Liverpudlians struggled with 36%.

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Claire Peate at Gocompare.com, commented: “The Scots have a reputation for being careful with their cash but our new research shows that London is the savviest UK city. When it comes to managing their money and keeping up with personal finance issues Londoner’s lead the field although, to be fair, Edinburgh was not that far behind.

“However, whilst it’s great to see the majority of consumers shopping around for the best deals, taking advantage of discounts and vouchers and embracing new technology to manage their money, we were surprised at how few people knew the current Bank of England base interest rate, especially as it affects our mortgages and savings and hasn’t changed for over 5 years.

“It would also be good to see the number of people who review their finances at least once a year pushing up. There are many products we should review regularly to ensure we’re still getting the best deal including car insurance, home insurance, energy tariff, savings rates and mortgage interest rates.

“Newspapers, magazines and websites are a mine of useful information helping people to manage their money effectively and make their cash go further. It’s interesting to note that the savviest city in this research, London, is also the one whose residents are most likely to read the money pages and take advantage of that information, whilst 15th placed Sheffield was the least likely. There must be a lesson there.”

For more information on money matters visit http://www.gocompare.com/covered/your-money/.

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Notes to editors:

Between 28 March and 11 April 2014, Consumer Intelligence conducted an online survey among 1,509 randomly selected UK adults. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.