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A third of UK public suffer poor health as a result of finances

Populus research on behalf of National Savings and Investments (NS&I) has revealed that almost a third of Britons (33%) have experienced a negative effect on their overall health as a result of their personal finances. Previous Populus research explores how banks could help consumers with mental health conditions and their carers, as well the impact of the festive season on mental health.

Other key findings from this research include that:

  • 46% of people with no savings claimed their personal finances had a negative effect on their health
  • 26% of Britons who worry about money believe that being more open about their finances would have a positive impact on mental well-being, as opposed to 7% who feel it would have a negative impact. Over half (52%) feel it would have no impact
  • Just over half of Britons (51%) who worry about money say that they worry about it all or most of the time
  • Almost three quarters of people who worry about money (73%) have never sought advice or guidance


The data provided by Populus were further broken down by age and location to provide insight as to where this issue is most acute. For example, we find that people in the North East are most likely to worry about money (76%), and that people in Wales and Scotland are least likely to seek advice about money worries (21% and 17% respectively). In terms of age groups, we find younger people are most likely have financial worries, with 78% of those aged 16-34 concerned about money.

Commenting on these findings, Jill Waters, Retail Director at NS&I, said:

“It is concerning that almost two thirds worry over their finances, yet the current picture is slightly better than it was in 2012, when we found that three quarters of people worried about their finances at least once a year. However, this new research has also found that younger people are more likely to see a negative impact on their wellbeing as a result of worrying about their finances.”

Meanwhile, Brian Dow, Managing Director at Mental Health UK, commented:

“As this research shows, money problems are widespread and they’re causing an awful lot of people stress and worry on a daily basis.  That’s not healthy. We set up our Mental Health and Money Advice Service in November last year because we know that mental health and money problems often go hand in hand. Both are thought of as ‘taboo’ subjects by many, shrouded in shame and secrecy, which is why debt is sadly so often cited as a factor in suicides.

“We would urge anyone who is worried about their money problems affecting their wellbeing to visit Mental Health and Money Advice for practical advice and information.”

Populus provides insight and analysis across a broad range of sectors, including both banking and public health. It allows organisations working in these sectors to get closer to their customers and stakeholders, using a range of innovative sampling and insight tools. For more information, see Populus’s solutions.


The Mental Health and Finances section of the NS&I Savings Survey was conducted by Populus among 2,075 British adults aged 16+ between 15 and 17 December 2017. The sample has been weighted to represent the adult population of Britain. For more details, go to www.populus.co.uk

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