(London, UK): Consumer expectations for future financial stability is worsening, with many looking to credit cards for support during the cost-of-living crisis. According to Auriemma Group’s latest issue of Cardbeat UK, 37% of cardholders believe their financial health will worsen in the next 6 months.
Gen Z and younger Millennials express greater optimism about their future financial health than their older counterparts despite increased levels of borrowing. Auriemma’s research found that 20% of cardholders are borrowing more to afford everything they need, rising to 32% among Gen Z and Millennials, and 33% of sub- and near-prime customers. The added strain of rising costs will likely cause these figures grow in the coming months.
“Since the start of the pandemic we have seen a resurgence in consumer spending on debit cards and a rise in transfers from savings to current accounts,” says Jaclyn Holmes, Director of Auriemma Research. “Today it appears rising inflation is furthering the strain on consumers, leading some to rely on their credit cards for essential spending.”
According to Auriemma’s latest findings, over 90% of credit cardholders anticipate rising costs of food, housing, fuel or energy bills to impact their personal finances negatively over the next 12 months. While energy prices were capped at £2,500 for 2 years beginning this month, some households may still see their bills double.
“At a time when all other costs are skyrocketing, the price cap will offer little comfort for many households,” says Holmes. “With more monthly outgoings attributed to energy bills, the pressure on credit card usage and borrowing will likely be even higher.”
But consumers aren’t the only ones bracing for impact. Issuers are also trying to assess how the cost-of-living crisis is currently impacting their cardholders and anticipate the enduring impact moving forward.
“Lenders have already begun seeing the operational impact of this change in customer behaviour,” says Louis Stevens, Director of Auriemma’s Industry Roundtables. “This comes at a time where regulatory initiatives, such as The Consumer Duty Act, are already taking up considerable time and resources.”
As issuers likely tighten risk criteria for customers seeking credit, some may turn to Prime and affluent customers for lower-risk lending opportunities. Auriemma Group will continue to monitor this space closely in upcoming Cardbeat studies and within its Customer Service Roundtable groups.
This Auriemma Research study was conducted online within the UK by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma from April-May 2022, among 80o+ adult credit cardholders. The number of interviews completed on a monthly basis is sufficient to allow for statistical significance testing between sub-groups at the 95% confidence level ± 5%, unless otherwise noted. The purpose of the research was not disclosed nor did the respondents know the criteria for qualification.
About Auriemma Group
For more than 35 years, Auriemma’s mission has been to empower clients with authoritative data and actionable insights. Our team comprises recognised experts in four primary areas: operational effectiveness, consumer research, co-brand partnerships and corporate finance. Our business intelligence and advisory services give clients access to the data, expertise and tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex environment and maximise their performance. Auriemma serves the consumer financial services ecosystem from our offices in London and New York City. For more information, visit us at www.auriemma.group or call Jaclyn Holmes at +44 (0) 207 629 0075.