28 June 2021

One in three Brits have low or no confidence in their financial abilities

  • Those with low confidence less likely to invest their savings to make their money go further
  • Online banking services have helped two-thirds of people (64%) improve their confidence in their finances

Over a third (35%) of Brits have low or no confidence in their financial abilities, according to the first TSB Money Confidence Barometer1. The research shows that those with low confidence are less likely to engage with their finances, therefore missing out on long-term savings and investments to make their money go further.

The research, based on responses from more than 5,000 adults, measures the nation’s confidence when it comes to managing their finances and explores the forces impacting how they feel.

The findings show that Brits’ confidence varies according to their circumstances – be that age, gender, housing status or location. TSB’s research shares new insights on what more can be done to help more people gain confidence with their money. And it confirms that while two in five people have increased their savings since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, money confidence is greater amongst those with proactive savings habits and those who hold savings products.

Almost a third of Brits feel confused about financial products and services

The key drivers of money confidence include having a good understanding of financial terms and knowing how different financial products and services work. However, TSB’s findings show a significant proportion of adults are not confident in the use of such terms and struggle to understand how different financial products work, with financial jargon and complex terminology leaving nearly a third (30%) of people finding financial products and services ‘confusing’.

The research found that people in the East of England feel most confident about handling their money, with seven in ten (70%) saying they have moderate or high money confidence. At the other end of the scale, people in the North East feel the least confident, with more than half (52%) having low or no money confidence.

Low money confidence leads to Brits missing out on savings and investment opportunities

Two in five (37%) people have increased their savings since the start of the pandemic, with 35–44 year-olds having saved the most – an average of more than £7,000 for those who have seen their savings increase. However, TSB’s findings show that many are missing out on long-term savings and investments, particularly those with low confidence. A third (34%) of Brits with high money confidence are putting money into long-term savings or investments, dropping to nineteen percent of those with no confidence.

Almost one in five (19%) people say that a lack of savings is one of their top three financial concerns as we emerge from the pandemic.

Online banking helps improve confidence levels

Online banking became essential for many households throughout the pandemic, with just under a third (32%) of Brits using online banking more frequently than ever before. And the shift looks set to continue as almost all of those who have used online banking (95%) are expecting to maintain that level of usage once the pandemic ends.

Online banking services have helped two-thirds of people (64%) improve their confidence in their finances. The main reasons cited for online banking helping improve confidence were: the ability to easily access their balance (62%); easy access to all of their financial products (51%); planning ahead by knowing their outgoings (41%); and more confidence in being able to spot and block potential frauds (24%).

However, there remains a clear geographical divide in levels of confidence and use of digital banking services. Over two fifths (44%) of people in urban areas used online banking more frequently during the pandemic, compared to almost a quarter (24%) of people in rural areas.

Robin Bulloch, Chief Customer Officer at TSB, comments:

As we come out of the pandemic it’s important we continue to build people’s confidence levels to help them manage their money. At TSB we’re working hard to equip customers with the right products, tools, and support so they can make confident financial decisions to improve their overall financial well-being.
It’s also crucial that we work with the industry, government and stakeholders to provide better support to consumers to build financial resilience and a more money confident Britain.
Factors that contribute towards money confidence
 
According to the research the factors which contribute most towards feeling money confident (or the biggest barriers to not feeling money confident) are:
 
  1. Being able to make the right financial decisions
  2. Being able to understand financial concepts, products and services
  3. Knowing how different financial products and services work
  4. Having a good understanding of what different financial terms mean
  5. Being happy to put in effort to research different financial options
  6. Feeling comfortable talking about money with friends and family

How TSB is responding

Through the pandemic, TSB has provided Money Confidence training, accredited by the Chartered Banker Institute, to over 3,500 of its colleagues in customer-service roles so they can help customers make the most of their money.

TSB has also launched new products to help customers feel more in control of their money, which include features such as savings pots, automatic spending round-ups, text alerts and fix and flex mortgages. Partnerships with ApTap and Wealthify have also enabled TSB’s customers to make the most of their money. 

The bank has seen a significant rise in customers using digital banking and has introduced solutions such as TSB Smart Agent and video banking to serve customers when it’s convenient for them. TSB is also continuing to invest in its branch network to provide the best face-to-face solutions. The bank is also trialling innovative ways to serve customers and recently launched 43 pop-up branch services and access to cash pilots to support customers in parts of the country where it takes longer to get to a branch.

 
The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. ‚Äč

Media Contacts

Avni Raval | Media Relations Manager, TSB
T: 07880 276 391 / 020 7003 9369 | avni.raval@tsb.co.uk

Follow us on twitter: @TSB_News

Notes to editors

  • 1 TSB Money Confidence Barometer - research conducted by Opinium, 5,000 UK adults, May 2021.
  • The full report, including the Money Confidence Barometer, can be found here.
  • TSB is today sharing top tips on how customers can manage their money better and boost their savings.

 

1: DO THE MATHS

Do a complete heath check of your finances. This means looking at your incoming and outgoing monthly funds - jot down your essentials such as utility bills, food, rent/mortgage and anything else like credit card or debt repayments. Also take a look at your spending before the pandemic but focus on the non-essentials and your average spending per month so you understand what your future spending might look like.

2. GET BUDGETING

Now you know your spending patterns, you can split your funds into non-essentials and savings. Set yourself a monthly and daily budget. Having an end target or goal in mind can really help with motivation. On payday put your savings money aside in a separate account so you won’t miss it. By doing so, you’re not dipping into your savings fund and still working towards your overall target.

3. GET THE RIGHT TOOLS

Having the right tools can really make a huge difference and make it easier for you. Do your research on the current accounts and savings accounts available and choose one which suits your needs. For example, do you need an account you can dip into from time to time or would you like to lock away some savings to stop the temptation of dipping in? Some accounts offer features that take out the hassle of transferring money – like ‘round the pound’ features which round up your debit card transactions to the nearest pound and move your spare pennies into a savings account. Having access to your online banking can make it easier to monitor your spending too. So do shop around. And don’t forget to consider an emergency fund for whatever life throws at you.

4. TALK ABOUT MONEY

If you’re not sure where to start and need a hand with managing your finances, there are options to help you begin new financial habits. For example, your bank can help provide the right solutions for your needs. Alternatively, Citizens Advice is also a great source of information. Remember to seek help if you need it.

5. KEEP AT IT

Starting a new habit can be daunting but do keep it up. And remember any change no matter how big or small can make a big difference. Keep in mind what your overall target is!

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