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Nearly half of UK adults say money problems cause poor health

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02/09/2015
Money worries are taking their toll on Brits, with 45% of adults claiming they have suffered from health conditions over the past five years caused by financial problems.

Since 2009, one in three people (33%) say personal finance issues have led to stress, and 22% claim it has contributed to them having depression, according to a report by not-for-profit charity the Fairbanking Foundation.

Nearly one in five (19%) say money worries have caused them to suffer from insomnia and 5% say it resulted in them being physically sick.

Alarmingly, money worries have also caused millions of people to either lose their jobs or fall out with partners and friends.

Some 6% of people say that since 2010 they have lost jobs as a result of having financial problems, while the same number claim they broke up with partners because of this.

Just under one in eight (12%) said money problems resulted in them developing eating disorders, and 7% said they started to drink too much.  Some 1% says it resulted in them taking drugs.

The Fairbanking Foundation warns the situation could worsen as more people are getting into debt problems.

Nearly 600,000 people contacted the debt charity StepChange in 2014 for help, a 56% increase since 2012.

Antony Elliott, chief executive of Fairbanking Foundation, said: “The health of our finances and how we manage our money has a huge impact on our lives, and in some cases as our research shows, the effects of this can be devastating.

“The financial services industry is doing more to help customers who fall into financial difficulty, but our research suggests that people think it could do more.  Of those people who encountered financial difficulties over the past five years, only 14% said that they thought their banks and creditors were supportive.

“We are working with a number of banks and credit organisations to help them improve the transparency of their products, and the tools they make available to customers to help them manage their money better. We are seeing a growing desire from the industry to engage with us, which is encouraging.”

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