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Financially vulnerable households treble since 2007

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Just over a fifth of UK households can now be classed as financially vulnerable, with only 8% deemed financially secure, according to Genworth research.

Consumers are most worried about the rising cost of living, the level of income they receive from work, the amount of savings they have and job security.

Financial stress is undermining people’s financial futures because they are struggling day-to-day, they are unable to save for the substantial deposit needed to buy and this is undermining confidence in general, said Genworth.

The report – based on a survey of 13,000 consumers in 20 countries – shows more households are struggling with vulnerability than security since 2010, when it last reported.

However, Britain’s 8% of financially secure households still makes it marginally better off than much of Europe.

In Germany just 3% feel financially secure, 7% in France and 6% in Ireland (6%). The UK also has less financially vulnerable households than both Germany (22%) and France (26%), whereas Greece has the largest number with 80% of all households in the financially vulnerable category.

Angel Mas, president Mortgage Insurance Europe at Genworth Financial, said: “Due to the increased pressure faced by households in meeting increased cost of living expenses and the ongoing impact on savings levels, it is perhaps not surprising that we have seen historically low numbers of first-time buyer and ‘second stepper’ movers recently.”

“As the Index shows however, GB households are at best cautious about their future, and at worst, pessimistic, which means they are firstly unable to save at the levels required and are less likely to consider bigger ticket purchases.”

Genworth said greater use of mortgage insurance would ensure a greater level of lending at these levels could be achieved.

Londoners are much less likely to be concerned about cost of living than the rest of the UK and more focused on income and savings levels. The young are also far more likely to say they experience financial difficulty all the time.


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