The FCA has published selected data, from its latest Financial Lives survey, on vulnerability and financial resilience, and insights into the financial positions of UK consumers in May 2022. This data contributes to the evidence base on the rising cost of living.
For its latest survey – Financial Lives 2022 – fieldwork ran from early February to early June, with a majority of the 19,145 interviews completed in May 2022. Although it is still analysing the data, it is providing selected statistics on vulnerability and financial resilience to give an insight into the financial positions of UK consumers in May of this year.
Key findings include:
In May 2022, 12.9 million UK adults had low financial resilience – 1 in 4 (24%) of all UK adults. These are people who are in financial difficulty, or who could quickly find themselves in difficulty if they suffer a financial shock, because, for example, they have little to no savings or are heavily burdened by their domestic bills or credit commitments.
This result is much worse than it recorded in its February 2020 Financial Lives survey. At that time, 10.7 million adults had low financial resilience, 2.2 million fewer than in May of this year.
The main reason for this increase is a large jump in the proportion of adults who say they are heavily burdened by their domestic bills and credit commitments: 7.8 million adults (15% of all adults) felt this way in May this year, compared with 5.3 million adults (10%) in February 2020. This is not surprising, as there has been a significant increase in the cost of living in the latter half of 2021 and in 2022.