Post-Brexit personal finances bulletin for Yorkshire and Humber
The long running R3/ComRes survey of over 2,000 British adults gives an insight into the current position of Britain’s personal finances. This is the first round of research since the UK’s vote to leave the European Union; the previous survey was conducted shortly before the referendum in June.
- In Yorkshire and The Humber two in five (38%) adults say that they are at least fairly worried about their current level of debt, in line with Great Britain.
- There is little change across Great Britain from June 2016 (37%) but there has been a steady decline since 2015 – 39% in January 2016, 41% in August 2015 and 46% in March 2015.
- Nationally, women (41%) continue to be more likely than men (35%) to say that they are worried about their current level of debt (39% vs 34% respectively in June 2016).
- Nationally, those aged 25-34 (54%) and 35-44 (53%) are most likely to report being worried about their current level of debt.
- In Yorkshire and The Humber, credit card debt (54%) remains the most frequently reported cause for concern among those who say that they are at least fairly worried about their current level of debt.
- This is followed by mortgage repayments (24%) and overdrafts (14%).
Andrew Davenport from Sheffield-based Maxim comments: “Despite the political upheaval caused by the decision to leave the EU this summer, not much has changed for personal finances across Yorkshire and the Humber. Debt remains a major concern for many, and credit cards are consistently the primary cause. The availability of cheap borrowing makes it all too easy to become reliant on credit.”
Financial Situation and Outlook:
One in five (20%) of adults across Yorkshire and the Humber say that they do not have any savings at all at the moment, close to the national figure of 22%.
- 20% of adults in Yorkshire and the Humber think their personal financial situation will improve over the next six months; compared to 15% who think it will worsen.
- Younger adults across Great Britain as a whole are twice as likely to be optimistic as older people, with over a quarter of those aged 18-44 (27%) expecting their financial situation to improve, compared to (13%) of those aged 55+.
- The greatest increase in pessimism for UK adults has been amongst 45-54 year olds with one in five (22%) expecting their personal financial situation to worsen over the next six months, compared to 16% in June 2016.
- Only 21% of adults across Yorkshire and The Humber have contributed to their pension in the last month.
- 8% in the region are only paying off the interest charges on credit cards or overdrafts rather than reducing the debit itself.
Andrew Davenport continues: “While the number of those without any savings has remained steady, it still represents a substantial proportion of Britons who have nothing to fall back on if their circumstances suddenly change and could quickly find themselves in a risky financial position.”
Struggles to Payday:
Approaching two in five (36%) adults across Yorkshire and The Humber say that they often or sometimes struggle to make it to payday, the same proportion as across Great Britain.
- The proportion of people in Yorkshire and the Humber who say they struggle to payday has dropped slightly since June 2016 (44%).
- There continues to be a gender gap across Great Britain as a whole with respect to struggling to payday, as women (42%) are more likely than men (34%) to report that they often or sometimes struggle.
- Among those struggling in Yorkshire and The Humber, it continues to be the cost of basic household expenses that are most likely to cause problems, particularly food (50%) and energy (29%).
- Adults in Yorkshire and the Humber also say they struggle to pay day because of fuel and or transport costs (24%), spending on going out or non-essentials (27%), paying for rent (20%), and making credit card repayments (23%).
- Wage freezes are still a concern for one in ten people living in Yorkshire and the Humber (10%), in line with the national average of 12%.
- The proportion of those in the region struggling due to recent cuts in welfare benefits is 11% (12% nationally).
Andrew Davenport adds: “Making money stretch from payday to payday continues to be a real struggle for many people across Yorkshire and the Humber, and it’s primarily the basic cost of living that’s making it difficult for people to get by.”