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UK Consumers Expect More Support From Their Banks, Reveals GFT

More than half of UK consumers expect their banks to contact them if their spending habits point toward future financial difficulty. A vast proportion of consumers also currently feel anxious when checking banking apps, found digital transformation specialist GFT UK in its recent report.

Around 77 per cent of consumers feel a form of anxiety when checking their finances on a banking app. The situation appears to worsen amongst lower age groups. Eighty-six per cent of UK consumers aged 16 to 35 admitted to feeling anxious when checking their finances. Similarly, GFT found that 87 per cent of consumers aged 35 to 44 felt the same when checking their banks’ apps.

The data comes from GFT’s recently published “Banking Disruption Index“, based on the company’s survey of 2,000 UK respondents in November 2022. The survey gauged people’s opinions on the digital capabilities of various British banks.

While checking banking apps appears anxiety inducing for many, around 37 per cent consistently check their banking apps every day. Another 27 per cent check every two to six days. The results show that the UK is currently experiencing a period of high financial pressure for UK consumers during the cost of living crisis, warranting consistent checking on personal finances.

Seeking support from British banks

While consumers put more effort into checking and actively managing their finances, GFT found that people still expect their banks to do more to support them. Overall, 57 per cent of respondents felt they would like banks to proactively contact them if their spending habits looked like they could result in financial difficulty.

As more and more consumers take action, there is a growing belief that banks should offer a greater range of budgeting tools. When asked about the type of tools that they felt would benefit them the most, consumers selected:

  • 26 per cent – Options to flag upcoming bills and whether they had enough money to cover them
  • 22 per cent – Daily/ weekly insights into where their money has been spent
  • 21 per cent – instant notifications after spending

Richard Kalas, client solutions director of retail banking at GFT UK, explained the significance of the findings. Kalas said: “Our data tells us that consumers want more tools to help protect their money this winter. People are facing a difficult start to 2023 financially and banking apps must incorporate more budgeting features to help in every way possible.

“The banks that offer the best digital methods to proactively support customers with their money will be the ones that benefit from increased loyalty.”

GFT also found that 43 per cent of consumers would prefer to contact their bank digitally instead of visiting a physical branch or speaking to a customer representative over the phone.

As many consumers look to receive greater support, particularly digitally, it appears the pressure increases on traditional banks to evolve to supply consumers with what they need, in their time of need.

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