Two in five UK workers of all ages reported increased financial anxiety in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, according to the new report from Close Brothers.
Despite the anxiety around finances, just 25% of workers surveyed said they would consult a financial adviser for help. Personal finance websites were the most popular resource (50%) and 30% said they would consult their bank. Just over a quarter (28%) said they would look to government organisations and 21% said they would seek guidance from their employer.
Prior to the pandemic, just under half (48%) of UK workers surveyed were happy with the state of their finances and just over a quarter (28%) were actively unhappy with them. A third of 18-34 year olds were actively unhappy with their finances before the pandemic. These figures had changed little since Close Brothers’ 2018 Financial Wellbeing Index research.
Before the pandemic, younger workers were already more anxious about their finances. Before Coronavirus, 30% of 18-34 year olds worried at least daily, compared to 19% of 35-54s and 12% of workers aged 55 and over.
Close Brothers said cut downs in working hours and the threat of redundancy was playing a role in causing anxiety, with our findings also highlighting that younger workers were highly vulnerable to income reduction. Around one-in-ten workers had been forced to work reduced hours (11%). Nearly a quarter (22%) of Gen Z employees, and 19% of millennials have had their hours cut. According to the report this has meant that 8% of workers have seen their savings eroded, rising to 15% among millennials.
Jeanette Makings, head of financial education at Close Brothers said: “The coronavirus crisis has brought into sharp focus the importance of financial wellbeing and highlighted the far-reaching impact of financial stress across all aspects of our lives and overall wellbeing. While these challenges apply to all UK employees, younger workers are more affected, both in real financial terms as well as from heightened anxiety and worry. This cohort have not yet had the same amount of time to build up their financial resilience, so face the double-whammy of income cuts with a minimal financial cushion.”