The UK of 2020 is no longer a nation of savers. Less than a generation ago, deeply entrenched habits were encapsulated in adages like “never buy what you can’t afford”, “a penny saved is a penny earned” and “put a little something by for a rainy day”, and were passed from one generation to the next.
But, somewhere along the line, these old ideas were undermined by a perfect storm of social, political and economic factors. These included the rise of consumerism, the widening availability of credit, loss of trust in banks and other financial institutions, short- and longer-term political and economic uncertainty, the continuing rise in house prices, the introduction of student loans, austerity and wage stagnation and historically low interest rates, among others. The net result of these factors was an unprecedented shift in mindset.
The UK is now a nation of borrowers.
Published: March 2020