The Financial Lives survey

Find out about our flagship Financial Lives survey.

Our latest Financial Lives survey is now live – we encourage you to take part

We are now inviting consumers to take part in our 2024 survey. Over 250,000 households from across the UK have been randomly selected to receive a letter that explains how to participate - only adults from households invited to take part by the FCA can do so. The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), an independent research agency, conducts the survey for us.

If invited, we hope your household will take part – many thanks, if you do so. 

How you can take part

Only adults from households that have been randomly selected to receive an invitation letter from the FCA can participate in the Financial Lives survey.

It’s easy to have your say online or by phone:

  • Go to www.survey.natcen.ac.uk/finlives and type in 1 of the 3 unique access codes shown on the front of your letter. Up to 3 adults (aged 18 or over) can participate per household, each using 1 of the 3 access codes.
     
  • If you are unable to complete the survey online, you can use NatCen’s freephone number to arrange to do the survey over the phone. These details are provided in the invitation letter.

Everyone who completes the survey will receive a £10 gift voucher as a thank you.

Why you should take part

This is an important national survey for the Financial Conduct Authority, which is here to protect people who use services like bank accounts, pensions, loans and insurance, or who are not able to get these. We are interested in your attitudes towards money and your experience of different financial services.

Your answers make a real difference, so it's important we hear from different people across society – from the youngest adults to the oldest, from those with few or no financial products to those with more complex arrangements, and from those living in our largest cities to those in the most rural areas of the UK. By taking part, you can help to ensure that we focus on the issues important to you.

Over the 7 years we’ve been running this survey, we’ve used the findings to help make major policy decisions that affect everyone in society, for example about the availability of banking services, the quality of financial advice, and reducing the cost of credit. 

The survey also helps raise the profile of many important issues, such as:

  • The significant impacts of the rising cost of living
  • The increasing use of Buy Now, Pay Later 
  • The difficulties many face due to bank branch and ATM closures
  • The need for customers who contact their financial services provider to receive information they can understand

The survey relies on the voluntary cooperation of people invited to take part. If you receive an invitation to take part, please do so. And please encourage others in your household to take part too.

Any queries?

If you would like to talk to someone about the survey, please contact the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) by email or telephone:

Email: [email protected]

Freephone: 0800 652 4568

If you have any queries for the FCA, see our FAQs or contact us

The FCA’s Financial Lives survey is being carried out in the public interest. For more information on how we use your personal data, please see our Privacy notice.

 

Read our latest report with key findings from the FCA’s Financial Lives 2022 survey

 

Financial Lives is our flagship, nationally representative survey of UK consumers.

It provides information about:

  • consumers’ attitudes towards managing their money
  • the financial products they have
  • their experiences of engaging with financial services firms

It is unique in the combination of its design, breadth, and size. As a tracking survey, it provides evidence of how things are changing from the point of view of the consumer. 

Our first survey ran in April 2017, our second in February 2020, and our third in May 2022. In 2023 we also ran a shorter recontact survey, the Financial Lives cost of living (Jan 2023) recontact survey, to provide more targeted insights. The Financial Lives survey therefore makes it easy to compare how UK adults’ product holdings, finances and experiences have changed over time.

For each survey we have published a report, as well as using the data in more focused publications. Being able to understand the changing consumer landscape is key to delivering our consumer protection and competition objectives. The survey data helps us to identify harm and improve consumer outcomes. The data also provides valuable insights for the financial services industry, the Government, other regulators, policymakers, consumer bodies and academics.

Resources library

As part of our commitment to be more transparent in the way we work, we have opened up the results of the survey for wider use by others. For each iteration of the Financial Lives survey, as well as the main and other reports, we publish the full questionnaire, the technical report and multi-volume data tables. These can be found on the pages for the relevant year, with a summary of the available documents in the Resources library.

Raw data from the Financial Lives surveys can be accessed by applying to the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC).