Press releases

Women less likely to contact their bank as cost of living bites

08 November 2022

  • Deloitte research highlights differing responses to financial pressures, with 72% of women saying they do not contact their bank for advice, compared to 63% of men
  • For men and women, ‘friends and family’ or ‘Moneysavingexpert.com’ more likely sources of financial advice (for 47%), with 28% turning to ‘social media influencers’
  • More than half of women (55%) have ‘widespread concerns’ around rising energy prices, while 49% say they are decreasing the amount they spend on non-essential items
  • A third of women (31%) aged between 35 to 54 say their ability to save for the future has significantly decreased

 

Amid the rising cost of living facing the UK, women are less likely to contact their financial services providers for advice than men according to new research from Deloitte. A survey of over 3,000 UK consumers conducted in August 2022* found that more than three quarters of women (72%) did not contact their bank or building society for advice, compared to 63% of men.

Sources of advice

For both men and women, ‘friends and family’ (47%) and ‘Moneysavingexpert.com’ (47%) are the first port of call for financial advice, behind their ‘main current bank or building society’ (41%). Four in ten (40%) are also likely to turn to their local ‘Citizen’s Advice Bureau’, followed by ‘a specialist charity’ (34%), ‘an independent financial advisor (IFA)’ (33%) or ‘a social media influencer’ (28%).

When it comes to contacting an IFA, only 28% of women do, compared to 37% of men. Women over the age of 55 are the least likely to contact an IFA, at 11%.

Of those who did contact their bank or building society for advice or support, the vast majority (87%) described their interaction as helpful. In addition, a third were offered a payment plan (35%), lower payments (32%) or changing terms to reduce monthly payments (30%) or a combination of those.

Louise Brett, Vice Chair and Head of FinTech at Deloitte, commented: “It’s particularly concerning that amid the mounting cost of living, people – and particularly women – do not feel comfortable contacting their bank or building society for help. It’s time financial services providers both independently and collectively engage women, through more effective, relevant and tailored communication.”

Diverging financial responses to the crisis

Eight in ten respondents (79%) say they expect the cost of living to continue to rise, although the survey highlights significant differences between men and women when it comes to their financial responses.

Over the last three months, men are more likely to have reduced their pension contributions (13% of men vs. 9% of women), look for higher paid jobs (28% vs. 24%), ask for a pay rise (18% vs. 11%), and start a ‘side hustle’ (22% vs. 18%) in response. Women, on the other hand, show a greater propensity to use ‘buy now pay later’ (BNPL) services (22% vs. 19% of men) and to sell unwanted items (36% vs. 26%).

Over the next three months 61% of all respondents said they planned to stop spending on takeaways and eating out (55%), gym memberships (55%), clothes (49%) and gifts for children and grandchildren (47%). Meanwhile, 49% of women have already decreased the amount they spend on non-essential items, compared to 42% of men. Half of women (50%) are spending less on clothing, compared to 38% of men.

Men are also more likely to switch their gas (22%), electricity (23%) or mobile tariff (23%) than women, compared to no more than 20% of women across each.

Longer-term outlook weakens

A quarter of women (25%) said their ability to save for the future has significantly decreased over recent months, compared to 17% of men. The disparity is true across all age cohorts.

Louise Brett concluded: “We know there is inequality between the financial education and experiences of men and women across the UK, as borne out by these findings. Financial Services providers now need to ask themselves how they can personalise products to help more women get the financial advice they need in these turbulent times.”

-Ends-



*Research is based on a survey of 3,194 UK consumers between 11th-20th August 2022.

For more on this story – listen to Deloitte’s latest Green Room podcast “Episode #44: Could my money move the world?” in which Louise Brett discusses the research.

About Deloitte Fusion

At Fusion we explore what’s possible to create better financial futures for all. We are a team of strategists, researchers, designers and ecosystem engineers who aim to uncover possibilities, making creative connections that help our clients get to the future, faster.

About Deloitte

In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity.

Please see deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

For more information, please visit www.deloitte.co.uk.

Data

Have you contacted the bank/building society of your main current account for financial advice or support?

   

Total

Female

Male

Advice

No

68%

72%

63%

Support

No

74%

78%

70%

 

How likely or unlikely are you to contact any of the following for support on how to manage your finances?

   

Total

Female

Male

An independent financial advisor

Very Likely/Likely 

33%

28%

37%

 

Likelihood of contacting the following sources for support on how to manage your finances?

Source

Percentage

Moneysavingsexpert.com

47%

Friends and family

47%

Your main current account bank/building society

41%

Citizen’s Advice Bureau

40%

A specialist charity (e.g. Money Advice Trust)

34%

An Independent financial advisor

33%

A social media influencer

28%

 

And how helpful was the bank/ building society of your main current account? (based on those who made contact with their bank/building society)

Very helpful

35%

Helpful

53%

Unhelpful

10%

Very unhelpful

2%

 

And what did your bank/building society provide? (Multichoice)

Payment plan

35%

Lower payments

32%

Changing terms to reduce monthly payments

30%

Increase savings rates

29%

Payment holidays

27%

Reduced mortgage payments

23%

Other, please specify

2%


You mentioned decreased spending on these item(s), are you thinking about stopping spending on any of the following over the next 3 months?

Item

%

Take-aways

61%

Home delivery food services

60%

Cinema

57%

Online taxi services

57%

Eating out

55%

Gym membership

55%

Non-essential food items

55%

Holidays

52%

TV subscription services

51%

Clothes

49%

Days out

48%

Treats/gifts for children/grandchildren

47%

 

I worry about rising energy bills

 

Total

Female

Male

Strongly agree

50%

55%

44%

 

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