Financial Lives survey resources library

Find the publications, questionnaires and data that are part of our Financial Lives survey for 2017 and 2020.

Financial Lives 2020 survey: The impact of coronavirus - Key findings from the FCA’s Financial Lives survey and October 2020 Covid-19 panel survey (published February 2021)

In February 2021 we published a report based largely on our 2020 survey completed by 16,190 respondents. As the Financial Lives 2020 survey ended in February 2020, the results give us an understanding of consumers’ financial positions before the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and their likely ability in February 2020 to deal with financial shocks.

The report shows some trend data from our 2017 survey. It also reports on how consumers have fared between March and October 2020, using findings from our October 2020 Covid-19 panel survey.

Read the full report

Executive summary

Appendix A to the full report – Product holdings (PDF)

Appendix A to the full report – Product holdings (XLSX)

Financial Lives: Consumer research to inform the Financial Advice Market Review (published December 2020)

This report published in December 2020 uses insights from the Financial Lives 2020 survey alongside bespoke qualitative research to look at consumers’ views on their needs for support with financial issues; how they go about getting that support, and their experiences of support. The research has informed the Financial Advice Market Review.*

Read the full report (PDF)

* For those interested in the FAMR report, and want to use our data tables. We have included following analysis breaks on all of our 2020 tables:

  • Investible assets
  • Had regulated advice in last 12 months (FAMR Groups)
  • Received support in the last 12 months (Advice and/or Guidance)

Other publications using Financial Lives 2020 survey results

The Financial Lives 2020 results have been used in a range of publications, including:

FCA Diversity – Annual Report 2019/2020 - The diversity report includes a Financial Lives 2020 diversity insights section which calls out differences by gender and ethnicity.

The Woolard Review - The Woolard Review sets out how regulation can better support a healthy market for unsecured lending, taking into account the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, changing business models and new developments in unregulated buy-now pay-later (BNPL) unsecured lending. The Review was commissioned by the FCA Board and uses some Financial Lives 2020 survey statistics.

Financial Lives 2017 survey publications

The first survey was conducted in 2017. A total of 12,865 respondents took part. Three substantial reports have been published:

The financial lives of consumers across the UK - Our June 2018 report analyses survey results across the four nations of the UK, the nine regions of England, and by rural and urban areas.

The report allows us to understand how consumers’ product holdings, attitudes and experiences with financial services differ across the UK.

Understanding the financial lives of UK adults - Our October 2017 report provides results from the Financial Lives 2017 survey, highlighting key facts and figures by age group.

Quantitative research to inform the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) Baseline - The Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) was launched in August 2015. It explored how government, industry and regulators could take steps to develop the financial advice and guidance market. The Financial Lives 2017 survey helped inform a baseline to monitor the development of the financial advice market.

Maps of the UK

Our most recent geographic analysis calls on the results from the Financial Lives 2020 survey and our Covid-19 panel survey. Here we map out at Government Office Region (GOR) level:

  • The proportion of adults who in October 2020 say their financial situation has worsened as a result of Covid-19.
  • The proportion of adults who in October 2020 expect to struggle to make ends meet, see their debt levels increase, or are not confident of being able to pay their domestic bills or meet their mortgage, rent or credit commitments in the next six months.
  • The proportion of adults aged 55+, or younger and have a health condition or illness lasting or expected to last for 12 months or longer, who in February 2020 said they find it difficult to get to a bank, building society or credit union.

Technical reports

As well as publishing our findings from the survey through our reports, we have also published our technical report for market research practitioners and statisticians who may be interested in the detail of the survey methodology. The technical reports provide detailed information on survey sampling and design, questionnaire testing and piloting, quality control, weighting and survey strengths and limitations. There is a technical report for each of the Financial Lives 2017 survey and the Financial Lives 2020 survey.

Technical report 2020 (PDF)

Technical report 2017 (PDF)

Questionnaires

The questionnaires from both Financial Lives surveys are accessible below, in addition to the Covid-19 panel survey:

Covid-19 panel survey (October 2020)

Financial Lives 2020 survey (Feb 2020)

Financial Lives 2017 survey (Apr 2017)

To help you navigate the Financial Lives 2020 survey we have also provided a crib sheet. This condensed document acts as a quick reference guide to the topics covered within Financial Lives 2020 survey questionnaire but without all the detail.

Financial Lives 2020 Crib sheet (Feb 2020)

Survey data tables and guides to using the data tables

As part of the commitment we made in our Mission to be more transparent in the way we work, we have opened up the results of the survey for wider use by stakeholders. This includes the multi-volume data tables from our 2017 and 2020 surveys. These provide access to the results of almost all the survey questions and to several analysis breaks (not all of which we have used in our published report). To guide you through the various volumes of data tables we have published a data tables user guide for both the 2017 and 2020 data tables.

Other documents you can find in our resources library include: the Financial Lives survey 2017 and 2020 questionnaires, the questionnaire from our Covid-19 panel survey, the technical reports from both the 2017 and 2020 surveys, UK maps of selected findings, and finally the request form for access to the survey raw data.

Financial Lives 2020 data tables user guide (PDF)

Financial Lives 2017 data tables user guide (PDF)

Covid-19 panel survey data tables

View the data tables from the Covid-19 panel survey. 

Financial Lives 2020 data tables

Weighted data tables (XLSX)
1. Demographics 2. Attitudes 3. Product Ownership part 1 3. Product Ownership part 2 4. Assets and Debts
5. Advice - Incidence 6. Retail Banking 7. Mortgages 8. Consumer Credit 2 9. High Cost Credit
10. Consumer Credit 1 11. General Insurance & Protection 12. Pension Accumulation 13. Risk and Return 14. Pension Decumulation
15. Advice and Guidance 16. Financial Concepts –Numeracy  17. All other sections 18. Summaries  

 

Financial Lives 2017 vs. 2020 tracker data tables

Weighted data tables (XLSX)
1. Demographics 2. Attitudes 3. Product Ownership 4. Assets and Debts 5. Advice  - Incidence
6. Retail Banking 7. Mortgages 8. Consumer Credit 2 10. Consumer Credit 1 11. General Insurance & Protection
12. Pension Accumulation 14. Pension Decumulation 15. Advice and Guidance 17. Other sections 18. Summaries

 

Financial Lives 2017 data tables 

Weighted data tables (XLSX)
1. Main 2. Retail banking 3. Retail investments 4. Mortgages 5. Consumer credit
6. GI&P 7. Pension accumulation 8. Pension decumulation 1 9. Pension decumulation 2 10. Advice 1
11. Advice 2 12. Self-employed 13. Savings 14. Fraud and scams 15. Access
16. Claims management 17. GAP 18. Guidance 19. Unbanked 20. Custom tables

Survey raw data

Raw data from the Financial Lives surveys (2017 and 2020) and from the Covid-19 panel survey can be accessed on application from the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC).