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Cost of Living Pressures Forces 55% of Migrants in the UK to cut Back on Remittances Sent Home

Cost of living pressures in the UK may be affecting people far beyond England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as many migrants have started to reduce the number of remittances they send; Western Union reveals.

Around 40 per cent of migrants living in the UK believe their friends or family would be in poverty if it weren’t for them sending regular remittances back home. However, many migrants have to reduce the amount of remittance they send due to the rising cost of living.

Western Union’s report, The Value of Remittance, explores the real-world impact of remittance payments and found that 52 per cent of migrants believe their friends and family relied on the money they send to afford medical treatment. Around 46 per cent also believe that family members would not be able to attend school or further education; while 45 per cent said their family or friends back home would not be able to afford their rent or mortgage without remittances.

Bob Rupczynski, chief marketing office at Western Union on Remittances UK
Bob Rupczynski, chief marketing office at Western Union

Bob Rupczynski, chief marketing officer at Western Union, said: “This research highlights the crucial role that remittance payments play in supporting families and communities around the world.

“The money that migrants send provides an essential lifeline for their families and friends back home and at Western Union we recognise the immense impact that these payments have, providing access to basic needs, healthcare, education, and opportunities for a better life.

“We are proud to help facilitate these important connections and to help power people’s pursuits all over the world. It’s our guiding mission to make finance accessible to all so that we can all achieve financial prosperity, wherever we are.”

Cost of living impacts on remittances

On average, migrants send 22 per cent of their annual income as remittance. But with significant amounts of money going to family in other countries, how is this money being used?

Western Union found that the primary reason money is sent home is to support their families’ healthcare (61 per cent); cost of groceries (59 per cent), accommodation (39 per cent) and education (38 per cent) fees.

Ninety-two per cent of migrants were found to have sent money to family back home in the past 12 months and 55 per cent of migrants also stated that being able to send money to family back home was a key factor in their decision to move to the UK.

The study found that amongst a global cost of living crisis, many migrants are struggling with the pressure of providing for their families and friends back home. Fifty-three per cent of migrants had to work more or started another job to afford remittance payments due to the rising cost of living.

In total, around 55 per cent have had to reduce the amount of remittance that they send due to rising living costs. Thirty-seven per cent reported that they were concerned about the possibility of losing their job in the next 12 months and the impact this will have on their families back home.


  • Tom joined The Fintech Times in 2022 as part of the operations team; later joining the editorial team as a journalist.

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