14th September 2015
Almost half of UK adults have suffered from health issues as a result of money worries shows new research
The analysis from the Fairbanking Foundation – a not-for-profit charity – found that over the past five years, some 45% have claimed they have suffered from health conditions caused by having financial problems.
It found that since 2009, one in three people, or 33%, say that personal finance issues have caused them to suffer from stress, and 22% said it has contributed to them having depression. In addition, almost one in five, at 19%, admitted that cash worries have caused them to suffer from insomnia and 5% said it resulted in them being physically sick.
Alarmingly, money worries have also caused millions of people to either lose their jobs or fall out with partners and friends. Around 6% of people say that since 2010 they have lost jobs as a result of having financial problems, while the same number claim they broke up with partners because of this. A further 12% said money problems resulted in them developing eating disorders, and 7% said they started to drink too much. Some 1% added that financial woes resulted in them taking drugs.
This situation could become worse because findings from the debt charity StepChange suggest more people are getting into debt problems. Figures published earlier this year revealed that in 2014 nearly 600,000 people contacted it for help, a rise of 56% since 2012. A survey of its clients revealed that thinking about their debt problems had resulted in 37.9% having chest pains and rapid heartbeat and 29.5% complained it caused them to suffer from nervousness and shaking, and ringing in their ears.
Antony Elliott, chief executive of Fairbanking Foundation said: “The financial services industry is doing more to help customers who fall into financial difficulty, but our research suggests that people think it could do more. Of those people who encountered financial difficulties over the past five years, only 14% said that they thought their banks and creditors were supportive.
“We are working with a number of banks and credit organisations to help them improve the transparency of their products, and the tools they make available to customers to help them manage their money better. We are seeing a growing desire from the industry to engage with us, which is encouraging.”
Free and impartial advice on money issues is available from a range of organisations including the Money Advice Service and the Citizens Advice Bureau. You can also access free online advice from debt charity Step Change or by calling 0800 138 1111.