17 May 2023

Battling Brits taking action amid increased Cost-of-Living

New research from HSBC UK has revealed the actions that battling Brits are taking to tighten their belt and cope with the increased cost-of-living, with 8 in ten (78%) people proactively looking for ways to reduce their outgoings.

While only one in 25 people (4%) said they were ‘burying their head in the sand’, there remains a low level of awareness that contacting their financial services provider to talk about money worries need not affect their credit score. Only 3% of people are aware they can contact their bank or building society to discuss their financial worries without it impacting their credit score.

Over two-thousand Brits were surveyed by pollsters YouGov on the proactive measures they are taking to curb the rising cost-of-living and reclaim control of their finances. The research revealed:

  • Almost 8 in ten (78%) are looking for new ways to reduce their outgoings
  • Half of Brits (49%) have cut back on non-essential spending and 4 in ten (38%) said they are sticking to more rigorous budgets
  • More than 2 in 5 (45%) Brits are looking to reduce their grocery bill by shopping at a cheaper supermarket amid the highest food prices in 45-years
  • 44% of people are looking to reduce their grocery bill by cutting down on meat and other expensive ingredients, while almost 4 in ten (37%) are replacing branded food with cheaper or own brand alternatives

Additionally, HSBC UK’s own data shows:

  • Customers are cancelling over 200k subscriptions per month on the bank’s mobile banking app. Almost 2.8 million subscriptions have been cancelled using the bank’s ‘subscription management tool’ since its introduction.
  • Five million visits to the new ‘Plan’ tab on its mobile app, which allows customers to see spending insights and set budgets. The Plan function, which only launched in February, has seen 129,000 budgets created, with the most common purpose to track spending on eating out and takeaways.
  • Two million people regularly using the ‘Balance after bills’ feature on the app showing how much money they will have after having paid their bills.
  • £1 million in unclaimed benefits highlighted through the bank’s ‘Benefits Calculator Tool’.

The research also reveals that two thirds (64%) of respondents have concerns about whether they would be able to cope financially with further cost rises this winter.

Cost-of-living continues to take emotional toll, but help is at hand

While Brits have taken many proactive steps to get ahead of the increased cost-of-living, the strain it continues to place on people is undeniable. Almost 4 in ten (39%) said they have reduced the amount they socialise to save money, with one third (32%) saying they feel more stressed than they used to, and 64% of respondents expressed worry about whether they would be able to cope financially with further cost rises this winter.

HSBC UK’s Head of Wealth and Personal Banking Jose Carvalho said: “The increased cost of living is taking its toll on many people, but our research shows people are doing the right thing by taking action to get a grip on some of their discretionary spending.

“We’re here to help. It’s important that customers understand that they can talk to us about their money worries without judgement and without it affecting their credit rating.

“We are providing free financial health checks and webinars to offer personalised guidance to customers and non-customers alike, including the opportunity to book a call with a financial wellbeing consultant for additional 1-to-1 support. Our financial support team has a programme in place for proactively reviewing where hardship might be on the horizon. We understand how challenging times currently are, which is why we are working so closely with customers already experiencing financial difficulty to understand their individual circumstances and identify the right solution for them.”

Top five money hacks that people are adopting to help with the increased cost of living:

What How
1. Keep close tabs on expenditure and create a budget. Plan and budget where you can. HSBC UK customers can utilise resources on the HSBC UK mobile app including the ‘Plan’ tab to keep track of where your money is going, use the ‘Balance after bills’ feature to see how much disposable income you have after paying your bills and consider using a ‘subscription management tool’ to monitor your monthly subscription outgoings.
2. Understand how fit your finances are. Generate your own or household financial fitness score. Generate your own or household financial fitness score by answering a few quick questions at: https://financialfitness.hsbc.co.uk/. It takes about 10 minutes and does not affect your credit score in any way. You will be given tips to help set achievable goals to improve your financial health and can use the tool again in future to see if your score has improved.
3. Sign-up for a free HSBC UK’s support webinar open to both customers and non-customers. Register for a free HSBC UK support webinar here: https://www.hsbc.co.uk/financial-fitness/fitness-score/#register. These free webinars will give you the insight, knowledge, and tools to reach your financial goals and build a strong foundation for the future. Each webinar lasts 30 to 60 minutes and they are open to all – no matter who you bank with.
4. Find out what benefits you are entitled to by using a Benefits Calculator Tool. The most recent estimates suggest there £15 billion of unclaimed benefits in the UK. For more information and to check what you are entitled to, visit: https://www.hsbc.co.uk/financial-fitness/could-you-be-missing-out-on-unclaimed-benefits/#calculator
5. Address concerns with your bank or building society’s dedicated ‘Money Worries’ resources. Remember you are not alone. If you are struggling with your account, have missed a payment or think you might do soon, complete an income and expenditure form online at: https://www.hsbc.co.uk/help/money-worries/ or speak to HSBC UK’s Financial Support Team over the phone or through the online chat service. These steps will help HSBC UK work out the best way to support you.

For more information, please visit: www.hsbc.co.uk

Media enquiries to:

HSBC UK Media Relations
Steve Gracey
07920 413401
Email: UKPressOffice@hsbc.co.uk

Notes to editors:

  1. YouGov total sample size was 2106 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th - 6th April 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)
  2. In 2022, over 12,000 customers went through the calculation, which helped them identify over £586K in potential benefits that they may be entitled to. In 2023, over 6,000 customers have already gone through the process, identifying potential benefits totalling £368K

About HSBC UK:
HSBC UK serves over 14.75 million customers across the UK, supported by 24,000 colleagues. HSBC UK offers a complete range of retail banking and wealth management to personal and private banking customers, as well as commercial banking for small to medium businesses and large corporates. HSBC UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc.
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 62 countries and territories. With assets of $2,990bn at 31 March 2023, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.