Britons prioritize economic news into purchase decisions. Banking wobbles unlikely to help
March 22nd, 2023, Kineree Shah

Britons prioritize economic news into purchase decisions. Banking wobbles unlikely to help

In the last month, the banking sector has been hit by the failure of two prominent US banks - Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. Swiss giant, Credit Suisse, was also assailed by concerns about its viability – to the point where it was hurriedly acquired by competitor UBS this weekend in a bid to mitigate the possibility of an economic crisis and reinvigorate consumer confidence in the industry. 

These developments have prompted questions about the trustworthiness of banks among consumers who stand to lose deposits in the event of a new financial crisis. In an attempt to shed light on this issue, we delve into the insights provided by YouGov Profiles, a reliable audience intelligence tool, to evaluate Britons’ confidence in banks and the public’s tendency to consider economic news before making any investment decisions.

While over half of the British population (52%) express trust in banks, the remainder is divided, with a fifth remaining neutral (22%) and a quarter (26%) saying they do not trust banks. Trust levels vary with age, with the highest levels of trust observed among 18-to-24-year-olds (57%) and the lowest among those aged 40 to 54. The 25-39 age group exhibits the highest level of skepticism, with one-third expressing distrust in banks (31%).

So, with trust already below levels what the sector would want to see, how could the current uncertainty around the financial sector impact the economy?

Well, nearly half of Britons take into account news about finance and the economy before making big purchases, an increase of seven points since last year (40% in 2022 vs 47% in 2023).

When looking at age groups, there were some notable increases. For Britons aged 25-39, the percentage who consider news about finance and economy before making a big purchase increased by seven points (43% in 2022 vs 50% in 2023). That number jumped by eight points among Britons aged 18-24 (40% in 2022 vs 48% in 2023) and 40-54 (41% in 2022 vs 49% in 2023). For adults aged 55+, the level of agreement increased by six points (37% in 2022 vs 43% in 2023).

All this goes to show that, with levels of trust in banks already low, consumer confidence may well be shaken again by the recent market uncertainty. And given consumers’ increased sensitivity to economic conditions, there may well be consequences for the rest of the UK economy. 

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Methodology - YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the British market is nationally representative of the online population and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.