18-24s least likely to understand financial literature, 72% men 'good understanding' v 58% women

Recent YouGov research into the financial literacy of the nation reveals that young adults are least likely to understand financial literature, with just 8% of UK 18 to 24 year-olds admitting to having a 'high understanding', compared to at least 20% of older age groups.

  • Generally, half of all UK adults (50%) modestly rate themselves as having some understanding of financial products and services
  •  15% say they have a 'very good' understanding
  • A minority of just 5% admitted to having ‘no understanding’

Breakdowns: Social class, gender and age

Social class, gender and age also play a key part in consumer understanding of financial products.

  • Almost three quarters (73%) of socio-economic group ABC1s say they have some or a very good understanding of financial products and services, compared to just 54% for C2DEs
  • 72% of men claim a very good understanding  compared to 58% of women
  • 45% of 18-34 year olds say they have some or a good understanding of financial products and services, versus at least 65% of older age groups

Britons look online for financial product advice

The research, conducted by YouGov’s Financial Services team, also reveals the most important sources of information for Britons making a decision over the purchase of financial products, with online sources emerging as a clear leader.

  • Half of UK adults (51%) consult a consumer advice website before buying a new financial product and 43% will read the Key Facts document (48% of men compared to 39% of women) before making a decision, while 41% will take advice from family and friends
  • Women emerge as more likely to seek advice from family and friends than men (48% vs. 33%) while younger consumers are more likely to take advice from family and friends than older people
  • Surprisingly, almost one in ten (9%) consumers does not seek advice from family or friends, read documentation or speak to an adviser before purchase

Online sources also emerge as the first port of call for consumers who don’t understand a term used in documentation for a financial product, with the majority of respondents (58%) turning to the internet.

Once again, gender plays a part, with men more likely to do this than women (64% compared to 53%).  As before, the under 35s are the most likely to turn to friends or family for an explanation compared to older age groups.

Commenting on the findings, Adele Gritten, Head of Media and Financial Services at YouGov said: "It is clear that a wider education programme is needed within our schools, colleges and universities to better educate younger people about personal finance. The technological divide is also compounding the class divide with those who have access to financial information online able to feel more informed, empowered and in charge of their financial decision making overall."


For more information please contact YouGov PR Executive, Giovanna Clark

See YouGov's Corporate Financial Services pages here

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