TotallyMoney is on a mission to help everyone move their finances forward. Through our free app, we put customers in control of their financial data, tell them what could be holding them back, and give personalised recommendations to help them gain financial momentum.
In this whitepaper, TotallyMoney and PwC have collaborated to shine a light on the UK's significant ‘under-served’ population. This is a group which we believe industry players and regulators need to pay more attention to, especially in the current economic cycle, and never more so than now.
Credit products are vital cogs in the wheels of the financial services industry and in the UK economy. TotallyMoney has seen first-hand the challenges and barriers consumers face in the credit market. Our survey has revealed millions of UK adults are under-served by the credit industry, and unable to access mainstream credit. Importantly, this group has grown substantially in the last six years, and we expect this trend to continue.
The TotallyMoney & PwC whitepaper, “Overlooked and financially under-served”, found that:
Just over one in three adults may struggle to access credit from mainstream lenders.
This represents an increase of 50% in just six years (13.6 million UK adults to 20.2 million) as the cost of living crisis continues to unfold. This group is the new ‘under-served’, and some are in this category for the first time.
An additional nine million are ‘financially fragile’ and at risk of slipping into the under-served. They’re falling between the cracks of high-street lenders due to limited credit history, blemishes on their credit file, or volatile incomes.
Analysis of this research led us to identifying four key reasons for the growth in the under-served population.
The lasting impact of the pandemic
The increasing cost of living
The growing number of people with thin credit files or no credit history
The rise in alternative forms of employment
As well as having a lack of options, the credit system can appear opaque. Data largely remains in the hands of credit reference agencies and lenders, and credit decisioning and pricing is often shrouded in secrecy.
We believe the way forward is to create a more transparent credit market, which better meets the credit needs of all, not only serving the needs of prime consumers. Cross-industry collaboration is vital to achieving this, with regulators, credit reference agencies, lenders and fintechs championing financial momentum for consumers.
TotallyMoney and PwC have conducted this research to size the under-served population, how it has grown since 2016 and the drivers for that change. With the insights from this paper, the industry and regulators can start to develop a way forward and explore the steps which need to be taken to change credit for the better, for everyone.
For more information, please contact the press team.