Which institutions would Britons rely on in a personal financial crisis?

Matt PalframanDirector, Financial Services Research
April 27, 2021, 7:16 PM UTC

YouGov data shows that three in five aren’t reassured that the government would step in if needed  

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial uncertainty across the country. The crisis has shut down entire industries, and created anxiety for workers who have been put on furlough, forced to dip into their savings, and who may not have a job waiting for them once government support ends in September.  

In this light, it may not be surprising that many Britons don’t feel particularly reassured by certain institutions. Despite the furlough scheme and various other forms of public financial support, data from YouGov’s debt tracker shows that just a quarter of the public believe the government would support them if their financial situation deteriorated (25%), compared to three in five (58%) who believe the opposite.  

It’s a similar story with banks: 27% said they felt reassured by these institutions, while 46% did not – and 26% said they didn’t know either way. And while there’s less negativity around employers (just 30% said they didn’t find them particularly reassuring), Britons still aren’t overwhelmingly positive: 28% believed that their employer would offer financial support, but more than two in five said they didn’t know either way (43%). While some employers have bridged the financial gap for staff during the pandemic – paying the 20% that the government will not pay – the even split suggests that this is far from a universal practice.  

Britons have the least confidence that their insurers will support them if need be: 45% are not reassured and just 16% are, while two in five don’t know (39%). As for who they do expect to help out, two-thirds say they could rely on their friends or family (65%), and just one in five say they could not (19%).  

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