Watchdog warns 12 million Brits will struggle to pay bills as the coronavirus crisis continues to take its toll on the country’s economy, warns the Financial Conduct Authority.
A SURVEY of more than 7,000 people, conducted by the FCA during the coronavirus pandemic, found 12 million people in the UK had low financial resilience, meaning they may struggle with bills or loan repayments.
The data shows 2 million of those who are not financially resilient have become so since February 2020.
Due to the impact of the pandemic, many of those who have experienced changes in employment and increased stress are now likely to have low financial resilience, said FCA.
These consumers are more likely to fall behind on payments.
Some 36 per cent of respondents who already had low financial resilience, and had a mortgage, said they are likely to fall behind on mortgage payments; 36 per cent of those with loans or credit cards are worried about repayments on these; and 42 per cent of renters are worried about falling behind on rent payments.
Almost a third of adults (31 per cent) have seen a decrease in income, with households seeing income fall by a quarter, on average.
Those from a Black and Minority Ethnic background were more likely to be affected, with 37 per cent of adults taking an income hit.
Sheldon Mills, Interim Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, said: ‘We want to remind consumers, especially those who are newly in financial difficulty, that lenders are able to provide you with support.
“There are options available to you which will reflect the uncertainties and challenges that many customers will face in the coming months. It is also important that households in serious financial difficulty seek debt advice for support.”
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