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Revealed: The most financially stressed cities in the UK


The UK’s most financially stressed cities have been revealed in our nationwide survey, with Brummies coming out as having the lowest financial wellbeing. The Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellbeing 2019-2020 has explored the shocking effect of financial worries on people across the UK.


We know that 36% of people in the UK today are regularly worrying about money. Perhaps surprisingly employees are worrying much more about money than areas including careers (26%), health (24%) and relationships (19%). Those that are stressed with money are over four times more likely to have depression and/or anxiety. 




Birmingham has the lowest financial wellbeing 


Birmingham was in the top five for 15 out of 16 measures of stress caused by finances, including sleepless nights, anxiety and being prone to panic attacks. For 27% of Brummies, this impacts their ability to complete daily work tasks on time. 



Cardiff has the highest financial wellbeing 


Of the eleven cities ranked though, it was Cardiff that came out as having the best financial wellbeing. Only 11% of workers in Cardiff felt they didn’t have anyone they could open up to about their finances. However, 31% of people in the city still reported being stressed about money. 



People from Leeds feel least comfortable talking about money 


The Yorkshire city is the place where people are the most tight-lipped when it comes to money worries. 28% said they ‘don’t feel comfortable talking about their finances to anyone’.



Londoners are living hand-to-mouth


London was in fourth place, entering the top five for 10 out of 16 measures, and ranking as perhaps the most hand-to-mouth city. One in four Londoners have less than £500 available in their current and savings accounts combined.



Edinburgh has the highest levels of credit card debt 


The Scottish capital reported the highest levels of credit card debt over £500 (48%), the most people unhappy with their current savings level (51%) and the most suffering a depressed mood as a result of their finances (30%).



The UK’s most financially stressed cities




What does this mean for employers? 


Employers can’t ignore the fact that people up and down the country are worrying about money. 

We know that this stress is having a real and negative impact on mental health, and in turn is costing business when it comes to absenteeism and productivity.  


Almost a third of the people we surveyed regularly run out of money before payday and are forced to resort to high-interest payday loans, credit cards and overdrafts to get them through to the next paycheque, all of which contributes to an increase in the stress and anxiety they feel on a daily basis.


It is important for employers to take an active role in helping their people get on top of their finances. It’s not always just about paying people more but helping them with education, advice and ways to make their salary work harder by offering pay advances, savings and low-interest borrowing options. 


Finally, employers should look at the culture of their company. Creating an environment where people feel comfortable talking about their financial wellbeing will play a key part in improving the overall wellbeing of your people. 


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