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11 February, 2021 Open access

Financial Conduct Authority finds Covid-19 pandemic has left more than a quarter of UK adults with low financial resilience

Latest survey of consumers shows number of people with erratic earnings, over-indebtedness or low savings has increased by 3.5m over course of 2020


The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) latest consumer research has found that the Covid-19 pandemic has left more than a quarter of UK adults with low financial resilience.

In Financial Lives 2020 survey: the impact of coronavirus, the FCA presents findings from a survey of more than 16,000 people carried out in February 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, and a follow-up survey in October 2020 with 22,000 respondents to test how Covid-19 had affected people’s financial position, vulnerabilities and expectations for the future.

Key findings include that -

The FCA highlights that the findings from both surveys will help it understand the experiences of consumers, particularly those who are most vulnerable to harm, a group it is continuing to focus on, for example by developing guidance on how they are treated by firms.

Commenting on the findings, Director of Consumer and Retail Policy at the FCA Nisha Arora said -

'The Financial Lives survey is fundamental to the work we do as a regulator, enabling us to hear directly from consumers across the UK.

While there are some positives in the data, many of the findings are worrying. Since the start of the pandemic, the number of people experiencing low financial resilience or negative life events has grown. The pain is not being shared equally with a higher than average proportion of younger and BAME adults becoming vulnerable since March. It is likely the picture will have got worse since we conducted the survey.’

For more information, see FCA finds the Covid-19 pandemic leaves over a quarter of UK adults with low financial resilience.