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51% haven’t switched any of the 10 most common financial products in the last 12 months

01 September 2014

10m UK adults still haven’t switched on to switching to reduce their outgoings

  • 60% of consumers have had the same energy provider for over three years
  • 21% have NEVER switched any of the 10 most common financial products
  • 29% of Brits feel worse off than a year ago
  • Over a fifth (21%) of Brits run out of money before the end of the month

New research reveals that over half of UK adults haven’t switched any of the 10 most common financial products* in the last 12 months in order to get a better deal. In fact, 10 million** consumers (21%) have NEVER switched any of them.

The research, carried out with just over 2,000 UK adults, was commissioned by comparison website Gocompare.com, and revealed that in the last 12 months:

  • More people switched car insurance (16%) than any other financial product
  • However, 30% have stayed with the same car insurer for over three years
  • Despite rising energy prices, only 15% had changed provider to get a better deal (60% have had the same energy provider for over three years)
  • 13% had switched their home insurance (but 39% hadn’t switched for over three years)
  • 7% had switched their current account
  • Only 5% had switched their credit card
  • Mortgages (2%) were the least switched product

Bank accounts (35%) topped the list of financial products NEVER switched followed by mortgages (28%), broadband (25%), ISA or other savings account (24%), landline phone (23%), mobile phone (23%), credit card (22%), energy supplier (16%), home insurance (14%), and car insurance (12%).

The lack of switch and save activity comes as 29% of UK adults say they feel worse off now compared to a year ago - with 17% admitting that they are seriously worried about the state of their finances.

To describe their current financial situation:

  • only 17% said that they felt better off than a year ago
  • while the majority (54%) said that things were about the same
  • 21% said they tend to run out of money before the end of the month
  • 16% urgently need to make savings
  • 5% said they rely on credit cards to make ends meet

People aged 45-54 were the least positive about their financial situation, with 37% saying that they felt worse off than they did this time last year.

Claire Peate, customer insight manager at Gocompare.com, said: “While many people have become committed comparers, switchers and savers - our research suggests that millions could still be paying more than they need to by sticking with their existing providers. But, in our experience, a common reward for loyalty is a higher price. So shop around for the best deals and if your existing provider seems expensive, switch.

“Comparison sites make it extremely easy to compare all manner of products and services from car insurance, credit cards to energy suppliers. For example, energy companies regularly introduce new price tariffs to tempt customers away from their competitors, so it’s always a good idea to review your electricity and gas provider at least once a year to ensure you’re not paying more than you need to. Time spent regularly checking insurance and credit card deals, energy and phone tariffs could help you find some much needed savings.

“Consumers who compare prices and switch can make some significant savings across their household bills and other outgoings. According to the latest figures***, customers using Gocompare.com save up to £229.96 on their car insurance and £71.03 on their home contents and buildings insurance.”

-ends-

 Notes to editors:

From 11 to 14 July an online survey was conducted among 2,032 randomly selected British adults age 18+ who are also Springboard United Kingdom Community members. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current data on age, gender, region, and education from the most recent census data, to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of the UK. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

*The list of the 10 most common financial products comprised car insurance, home insurance, energy, mobile phone, broadband, landline, mortgage, credit card, current account and ISA or savings account.

**According to the Experian Demographic Summary there are 47,755,246 adults in the UK (aged 18 or over) 21% of survey respondents have not switched providers for any of a list of top 10 most common financial products, equating to 10 million.

***Based on online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during 1 July 2014 to 31 July 2014:

51% of consumers could save up to £229.96 on their car insurance, based on a comparison of at least 40 companies.
51% of consumers could save up to £71.03 on their home contents and buildings insurance based on a comparison of at least 35 companies.