Financial Lives survey

Find out about our Financial Lives survey.

Overview of the Financial Lives 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 and 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 concluded in April 2017. Our second survey concluded in February 2020. The Financial Lives survey therefore makes it easy to compare how UK adults’ product holdings, finances and experiences have changed over these 3 years.

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, policy-makers, consumer bodies and academics.

Financial Lives 2020 survey

A total of 16,190 respondents completed our 2020 survey. As it 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.

In February 2021 we published a report based largely on our 2020 survey. 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 (PDF)

Executive summary

Financial Lives 2017 survey

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

June 2018: The financial lives of consumers across the UK

October 2017: Understanding the financial lives of UK adults

July 2017: Quantitative research to inform the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) Baseline

To find out more about the reports from our 2017 survey and how to access our 2017 resources, including the questionnaire, technical report, data tables and data tables user guide, please go to our Financial Lives survey resources library.

Financial Lives survey resources library

As part of the commitment we made in our Mission to be more transparent in the way we work, we have created a resources library which allows people to access all of the publications from both our 2017 and 2020 surveys. 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 provided a data tables user guide.

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.