99% of Brits would benefit from a financial workout, says Abbey
The research from Abbey banking looked at the personal finance behavior of Brits and gave them a score according to the financial products they hold, the competitiveness of these products and how often they shop around for better deals. The products assessed in the study were bank accounts, mortgages, savings, insurance and credit cards. A lower score indicates better management while a higher score means room for improvement. The average score for the UK population was 43, with women returning an average score of 46 whilst men scored a leaner 41. Women were weighed down by a number of factors. 31% have not got their mortgage at a competitive rate; 25% have not shopped around for insurance products; and 70% have either no savings or only enough to maintain their standard of living for less than three months. Comparative figures for men were 26% don't have a competitive mortgage rate, 17% don't shop around for insurance and 61% don't have three months worth of savings. The fittest regions in the UK were Wales and the South West with a score of 42 whilst those in the North of England scored 46. Steve Shore, director of banking at Abbey, said: "Less than a third of people score less than 30 which suggests that the majority of the population could do with a financial workout. But with so many deals out there, it really needn't be strenuous! Why not start with your bank account - nearly three-quarters of the population are settling for interest rates of less than 3%, yet there are deals out there like Abbey's that pay 8% on in-credit balances."