How the Other Half Lives 2022

This report looks at the financial lives of consumers in the UK. It looks at two groups of consumers: The Financial Haves and the Financial Have Nots. The report looks at the financial assets held by these groups, their level of financial wealth, their financial priorities and goals, their use of financial advisors and their vulnerability to financial scams. The financial assets considered in this report are: Cash savings, Retail Investments and Pensions. For this report, IRN Research commissioned Maru/Blue to conduct a survey among its online panel, drawing on a nationally representative sample of 2,148 UK adults aged 18+.

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Report Highlights

Based on their ownership of a range of financial assets, including cash savings, retail investments, private and workplace pensions, consumers split into two roughly equal camps. 51% fall into the Have Nots camp and 49% into the Haves camp. Haves, as their name implies, own a wide range of financial assets and are especially likely to hold some retail investment products, plus have workplace and/or private pensions. In contrast, the Have Nots hold most of their assets as cash in bank or building society accounts with hardly any having retail investments and relatively few having private or workplace pensions.

Both the Haves and Have Nots segment into two sub-groups based on their ownership of financial assets. This results in four groups of consumers overall. In terms of the level of financial wealth they have and the variety of financial assets owned, they rank from the wealthiest Haves to the least wealthy Have Nots as follows:

  • HAVES: Upper Class. Haves who own the most comprehensive range of financial assets, including riskier retail investment products and pensions. This group includes the affluent employed, often working in managerial positions.
  • HAVES: Middle Class. Haves who focus more on savings and investment products, especially low risk investment products like National Savings and cash. Central to this group are affluent mature consumers including the retired who have a private or workplace pension.
  • HAVE NOTS: Lower Class. Have Nots, who while mainly owning cash savings products may also own pension products. This group includes the poor employed, often females in non-managerial positions or working part-time. It is likely many in this group own pension products only because of auto enrolment.
  • HAVE NOTS: Precariat, i.e. precarious and proletariat. Have Nots who only have cash in banks or building societies. Central to this group are the poor mature, including the retired who are living on State pensions.

The Have Not consumers are very vulnerable to a downturn in their incomes, this being especially so for the Precariat. The level of wealth held by the Have Nots means if they were to face a loss of income or rising costs necessitating them to liquidate wealth that can be easily turned into cash (i.e. savings and investments) to pay for day-to-day expenses, they would be immediately exposed to financial hardship.


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