" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> 23 million adults apply or consider applying for financial services products every year
Thursday, March 30, 2023
City Week 2023

23 million adults apply or consider applying for financial services products every year

New research1 from Freedom Finance, one of the UK’s leading digital lending marketplaces, reveals the scale of demand for financial services products as more than two in five (43%) of UK adults – or around 23 million people – either considered or applied for at least one financial services product in the past year.

That figure grows to 50%, when you look at the working population, with insurance products (22%) being the most popular. Nearly one-fifth (18%) of workers also considered or applied for a personal credit product, such as a personal loan, retail finance or a credit card, while 15% looked at opening a new bank account and 11% considered taking out a new mortgage.

25–34-year-olds were most likely to have hunted for financial services, as they begin to lead increasingly complex financial lives as insurance and mortgages became more important – nearly three in five (57%) applied or considered at least one product.

Over 55s were least likely to have looked for products, as almost two-thirds (65%) said they had not applied or even considered applying for a financial services product in the past year. In terms of the type of products that adults are looking for, insurance policies (16%), bank accounts (14%), and personal loans or credit cards (13%) were most sought after in the past year.

Looking across different age groups, nearly a fifth (19%) of 25–44-year-olds said they had looked or applied for a credit product, while over a quarter (26%) of 18-24s had considered or applied for a bank account as they begin their financial lives.

Research highlights the challenges facing all borrowers as the availability of secured and unsecured credit hit the lowest levels since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to January’s Bank of England Credit Conditions2. With fewer lenders and products available, many consumers will benefit from using digital tools that allow them to compare a wide range of loans available to them rather than just going to their usual lenders.

The latest FCA data3 revealed that 85% of UK adults currently hold a credit or loan product, 88% have insurance and 32% have a residential mortgage.

David Hendry, Chief Marketing Officer at Freedom Finance said that high demand for financial services could be driven by the spectre of rising interest rates and increasing cost of living pressures.: “The fact that half of all workers in the UK looked for new financial services products in the past twelve months indicates the fundamental role the industry plays in our society, but also the opportunity for it to innovate and develop better products for customers.

“Almost all adults already have at least one credit product, but borrowers are still looking for products that suit their circumstances – whether that is to extend the borrowing or consolidate existing debt.
“The lending market is rapidly changing at the moment and improved use of data means people are able to find better-suited products more easily and securely. In a tightening credit market, incoming Consumer Duty legislation is likely to drive more lenders to adopt soft search technology into their digital real estate so that their customers can explore finance options while being sure not to harm their credit scores.

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