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Peer2Peer Finance News | August 18, 2019

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One in four Brits poorer than a year ago

One in four Brits poorer than a year ago
Anna Brunetti

ONE IN four Britons are feeling blue about their personal finances, as Brexit-induced economic swings have eroded savings over the past 12 months.

26 per cent of UK savers saw their finances deteriorate, while only one in five is better off now than a year ago – a disappointing trend reversal compared with last year’s results, according to investment firm Willis Owen who conducted the research.

Read more: IFISA investors to earn four times more than savers in a downturn

Almost 40 per cent of the respondents said rising inflation had become the biggest threat to their financial stability.

The country’s imminent departure from the EU and the post-referendum currency slump – which saw the pound lose 17 per cent of its value – were cited as their second biggest headache of the year.

“The noticeable rise in the number of people who are feeling less confident about the future suggests that many may decide not to invest in 2017 and will instead opt to keep their money in a ‘safe’ place,” said the firm’s managing director Jason Chapman.

Read more: Half of UK households face financial uncertainty

“This is likely to mean a cash savings account, which will continue to provide low returns if interest rates stay at current levels.

“Such a decision is at odds with the widely-held view of experts that equities can provide a superior hedge against inflation.”

Londoners and women had the gloomiest financial outlook among the 2,299 UK adults surveyed by Willis Owen. Only 22 per cent of the women showed any optimism about their financial prospects, compared with 35 per cent of men.

“Much more needs to be done to communicate with the public about the potential effects of Brexit on the UK economy and how these will, in turn, affect their personal finances,” said Chapman.

Read more: No end in sight for low savings rates as inflation hits 31-month high