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A decade on and the UK remains credit crunched

01 August 2017

A quarter of people say they’re not prepared for another economic downturn

  • 46% of people feel worse off than they did in 2007;
  • 76% think the divide between rich and poor has grown in the last decade;
  • Just 16% say they feel secure in their employment.
  • A quarter say their income has stayed the same or declined during the last ten years;
  • 13% of UK adults have been forced to alter major life plans as austerity measures continue to bite;

Ten years on from the onset of the global credit crunch, millions of people are still enduring financial pain.

New research from GoCompare has found that nearly half (46%) of the UK’s population feel worse off now than they did in 2007, with one in four concerned that they would be in serious financial trouble should another economic downturn hit.

Amid worries of another recession, GoCompare’s ‘State of the Nation - 10 years on’ study looked at people’s attitudes towards finances a decade after the global downturn, revealing some startling figures about employment, the rich-poor divide and retirement, among other issues.

Overall, the study paints a fairly concerning picture of a lack of job security, increasing wealth disparity and a reliance on credit to make ends meet.

The UK’s biggest anxieties over the next 12 months

  Anxiety % of people
 1 Rising household bills and living costs 55
 2 Inability to save money 30
 3 Not being able to prepare for retirement 22
 4 Lack of a secure future for the next generation 15
 5 Struggling to repay credit card and other unsecured debts 15
 6 Not being able to afford my mortgage/rent payments 11

While the last decade has seen 55% of people face increased living costs, a quarter of people have felt the squeeze with their income either staying the same or declining. There is also a massive lack of job security, with just 16% of people feeling secure in their employment.

The struggle to make ends meet was illustrated in the study with 10% of those surveyed admitting to holding more personal debt than they did before the credit crunch.

As a result, over a quarter (26%) of people are worried that they will be hit particularly hard financially if there is another economic downturn, with 24% admitting to not having the safety net of an emergency-fund.

It isn’t surprising then that over almost two fifths (38%) of people said that, as a country, they don’t think the UK has learned the lessons from the credit crunch. A third (34%) of people put some of the blame on financial institutions, believing that they are still encouraging people to borrow more than they can afford to repay

A final note from the study was an apparent widening financial divide between the rich and poor - most of the adults surveyed (76%) think that inequality of wealth has grown since the start of the credit crunch.

Commenting on the research findings, Matt Sanders from GoCompare said: “August 2017 marks a decade since the start of the credit crunch – the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression .  And, from our study, it’s clear that many people are still feeling the effects of the world-wide economic meltdown and are ill prepared for another crash.

“The problem of rising costs for goods and services and stagnant wages has been widely reported in the media, with the Government committed to helping people it has identified as ‘just managing’. 

“While squirreling away savings may be impossible for those finding it difficult to make ends meet, there are some simple and effective measures people can take to save money on essential household bills.  Inflation is back and set to make things worse for households on a fixed income. Car insurance and energy bills are two areas where costs are rising rapidly at the moment. But they are also two of the easiest products to shop around for and, as a result, households can make significant savings by switching.”

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

*On 12 July 2017, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 1,788 randomly selected British adults (aged 25 and over) who are Maximiles UK panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. 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.