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FCA reveals results of its Financial Lives Survey


The FCA has revealed the findings of its first Financial Lives Survey.

The survey is the FCA’s largest tracking analysis of consumers and their use of financial services and collated responses from just under 13,000 UK consumers aged 18 and over.

The research aims to provide the FCA with unique insights into people’s experiences of retail financial products and services by collecting information about the financial products used by consumers and their attitudes to managing their money.

The report provides information for six different age groups to highlight key themes at each life stage, from the 18-24 demographic to those 65 and over.

Half of UK adults (25.6 million) displayed one or more characteristics that signalled potential vulnerability, meaning they may be at increased risk of harm, or would suffer disproportionately if harm occurred.

For all age groups, the proportions showing characteristics of vulnerability were around the national average of 50%, except for those 75 and over, where the proportions showing vulnerable characteristics were higher.

The highest proportion (77%) of those with these characteristics were among the unbanked and the unemployed who were searching for work.

Women accounted for the majority of those with these characteristics – compared with men (46% or 11.7 million) – as 53% of women (13.9 million) were potentially vulnerable.

The survey revealed some characteristics of UK consumers:
  • single parents aged 18-34 were three times as likely to use high-cost loans: 17% compared with the UK average of 6%
  • the FCA described 13% of 25- to 34-year-olds as being in difficulty, due to missing the payments of domestic bills or meeting credit commitments in three of more of the last six months
  • only 35% of those aged 45-54 have given a great deal of thought as to how they will cope in retirement
  • consumers aged 65 and over were least likely to check if an internet site was secure before giving their bank or credit card details


Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the FCA, said: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in the survey.

“The findings give us a wealth of information which will be used to increase our knowledge and understanding of the issues affecting consumers and how to best protect them.

“The data gathered will be invaluable in helping the FCA prioritise our work.

“We also hope that the research will provide valuable insight for other organisations focusing on consumers and finance.”

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