Pandemic Leaves Quarter of U.K. Adults Facing Financial Struggle

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A quarter of British adults expect to struggle to make ends meet as the pandemic continues to upend the U.K. economy, according to a survey by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The market watchdog also found that one in three adults -- equivalent to 15.9 million people -- believed in October that their household income would fall during the next six months.

Other findings of the Financial Lives report published on Thursday include:

  • The number of U.K. adults with low financial resilience increased from 10.7 million to 14.2 million over 2020
  • There are now 27.7 million adults in the U.K. with characteristics of vulnerability such as poor health, low financial resilience or recent negative life events, up 15% from February
  • A third of adults reported that they were likely to cut back on essentials, 11% said they would use a food bank and 16% expected to take on more debt
  • About 14% of adults say they have seen their financial situation improve since the onset of Covid-19.

The findings were based on a poll of 22,000 people carried out in October, before the second and third lockdowns attempted to slow the resurgence of the virus in Britain.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the number of people experiencing low financial resilience or negative life events has grown,” the FCA said in a statement. “The pain is not being shared equally with a higher than average proportion of younger and BAME adults becoming vulnerable since March. It is likely the picture will have got worse since we conducted the survey.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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