The survey of more than 2,000 adults in the UK found that two-thirds (66%) said the rising cost of living had affected their ability to save money.
The findings highlight the challenges when it comes to saving and the gap in advice available to those who want to save. More than 1 in 4 (30%) adults say they don’t save any money at all on a monthly basis. People aged 18-24 were the least likely to save any percentage of their income, and less than half were doing so (43%).
The survey also found that while more than a quarter have been able to save since the pandemic began in March 2020 (27%), a higher percentage said they have been able to save the same amount (30%).
When asked about their financial confidence, the cost of goods was highlighted as the most important factor, with more than two-thirds (68%) saying this affected their financial confidence. Home prices (44%) and low interest rates (53%) were also cited as factors affecting their confidence.
Rental prices were especially important for young people (18-24 years old). More than half (53%) said rent affects their confidence in their financial situation, compared to 30% for all age groups.
Young people were also the least optimistic overall – only a third (33%) of those aged 18-24 said they were confident in their financial future. Overall, half of adults in the UK felt confident (50%).
Laura O’SullivanHead of strategy and banking advisory, Accenture UK and Ireland, said: “Adults in the UK face a uniquely challenging environment as we head into 2022, in which the cost of living is expected to get worse rather than better. These results show that although one in four have been able to save more since the start of the pandemic, an equal number save nothing at all each month.
“Regardless of saving habits, the cost of living crisis will make it difficult for people of all ages to save money, with young people feeling the impact most acutely. The drive now in the financial services sector is to help build financial confidence and develop products and habits to empower the next generation of savers.”
Furthermore, less than half (47%) of UK adults with a checking account felt that their savings and investment needs were being met by their checking account provider, and less (41%) felt that their checking account provider was providing them with financial advice they they need. Despite this, less than a quarter (23%) are likely to change bank providers for better financial advice.
When asked about the most reliable financial advisory sources, banks backed away from financial advisory sites like money saving expert72%) and friends and family (69%), with 59% of respondents saying they trust advice from their bank. Social media influencers were the least trusted (5%), although they were most trusted at 18-24 (8%) and 25-34 years (9%).
O’Sullivan continued: “The uncertainty of the past two years has underlined the importance of savings. As the UK financial advisory market has become increasingly crowded, a gap has been filled for trusted sources through reputable websites and friends and family. Banks now have a chance to interact. with its customers new ways to build financial confidence and savings habits, which will boost brand loyalty and better equip customers for tough times.”
Among the factors that were important in deciding which products to invest in, accessibility was considered a top priority (83%) – with levels of returns too (81%).
When asked what type of investment options they would be most interested in, people were more interested in those that offer higher returns (26%) and stocks and ISAs (26%). 1 in 10 (10%) were interested in cryptocurrency products, but that percentage doubled for those aged 18-24 (19%).
Interest in cryptocurrency products was higher among young adults (18-24) compared to other age groups. Almost one in five (19%) said they were interested, compared to 10% of all respondents and only 3% of those aged 55 and over.