In an uncertain economic climate where personal borrowing had reached an all-time high in the UK by the end of 20161, Britain may be heading towards a debt crisis and more than ever the ability to assist struggling good consumers is imperative. An extended era of unprecedented low interest rates has to some extent masked the scale of Britons’ borrowing, but many households are growing increasingly anxious about the parlous state of their personal finances. Some have already begun to struggle to make debt repayments.
This study, conducted jointly by TDX Group and the market research organisation YouGov, attempts to chart the scale of the problem now facing Britain – and to help organisations think about how to respond more effectively to the challenges that lie ahead.
The study is divided into two sections. Part one charts the state of the nation today, with data on the scale and breadth of consumer debt, the extent to which people are concerned about their household finances, and the number of borrowers already facing financial difficulties. Part two sets out borrowers’ views on how they believe organisations should behave towards struggling customers – and how they would respond to good or bad experiences; it also poses a challenge to creditors, too few of whom are making effective use of data to identify potential problem borrowers ahead of time, or to differentiate between different groups of borrowers.