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Financial troubles cause stress for almost half of UK adults

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Financial troubles cause stress for over 40% of the UK but more than half of consumers are unaware that utility providers and lenders have a responsibility to help those in difficulty.

Research from Equifax reveals 42% of people in the UK have experienced stress or anxiety due to financial difficulties, while 58% said they were unaware financial organisations have a duty of care if they find themselves in trouble.

The survey of 2,120 adults conducted by YouGov revealed that 48% are most likely to confide in their partner, while 46% said they’d turn to a family member when faced with financial difficulty.

It also showed that consumers are willing to speak to companies they owe money to if they found themselves struggling to make payments – 29% said they’d speak to their mortgage provider and 45% would talk to their utility provider.

Some 62% of UK adults said they would be willing to provide additional information, such as income or monthly spending, to help that company provide support in times of financial difficulty.

Only 4% would be annoyed if organisations asked about personal circumstances if they had missed a payment, and 33% said would understand why they asked.

Embarrassed about money struggles

Jake Ranson, banking and financial institutions director of Equifax UK and Ireland said: “It’s concerning that such a high proportion of the UK experience stress or anxiety because of financial difficulty. People are often embarrassed about struggling with money and the actual number of individuals affected could be substantially higher than the survey indicates.

“It’ important people notify the relevant organisation at the first sign of trouble so they can provide the necessary support. All organisations lending money have a regulatory obligation to identify customers that are financially vulnerable and treat them fairly. When someone is genuinely struggling to make payments companies can employ a range of tools to help, for example providing more time for payments to be made.”