17 Apr 2024 | Posted In Money advice news

Open-data lender Plend’s Financial Inclusion Report 2024, entitled ‘A divided nation’, is one of the largest explorations into financial inclusion in the UK.

The report, contributed to by Nationwide Building Society, StepChange Debt Charity, ClearScore, University of Bristol, Fair By Design, Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and Big Society Capital, highlights an uneven recovery from the cost-of-living crisis, and reveals concerning disparities related to gender, ethnicity and household income.

The 12 key findings, drawn from 4,000 survey participants and 26,000 Plend applications, demonstrate that despite a government’s narrative of improvement, the headlines fail to accurately depict the challenges faced by the UK public:

  1. 28% of people feel locked out of the financial system. Rising to 40% for people from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background
  2. 90% of the population felt impacted by the cost-ofliving crisis in some way during 2023, down from 94% last year
  3. 44% of UK adults are financially vulnerable, and 34% of vulnerable adults believe that their bank would not be there for them in an emergency
  4. 65% of people struggle to repay their loans, this rises to 72% for women
  5. 41% of people said that their financial situation would improve if they could access a genuinely low interest loan, up from 39% last year
  6. 42% of people who applied for a loan in the last 24 months have been declined – a 2% increase from last year
  7. 48% of people said that the cost-of-living crisis has had a negative impact on their physical or mental health. This rises to 54% for people within the Black, Asian and minority ethnic population
  8. 41% of people have had to borrow money because of the financial impacts of the cost-of-living crisis, an increase from 34% of people last year
  9. 38% of people feel that their credit score negatively impacts their ability to access financial products
  10. 47% of UK adults think that the rates charged by loan and credit card companies are unfair
  11. 10% of the population are actively considering or would consider using a loan shark
  12. 26% of UK adults feel that their bank would not be there for them in a financial emergency

Find out more and download the full report here.