Money and Mental Health response to FCA’s new cost of living survey

10 April 2024


Today the FCA has published new research on the cost of living which found that 7.4 million people were struggling to pay bills and credit repayments, a reduction from this time last year.

However, it also showed that only 2.7 million adults had reached out for financial support in that time, and that 2 in 5 adults who had missed bills said they had avoided talking to their lender about their finances.


Conor D’Arcy, Interim Chief Executive of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, says:

“It’s encouraging that the number of people struggling with bills has dipped. But with millions of us still behind on key payments, the impact of the cost of living crisis on our finances and mental health is likely to last a long time.

“Against that backdrop, it’s concerning to see that while 7.4 million people are struggling with bills and repayments, roughly a third of that number have got in touch with their lender or sought other help.

“That shows that there’s more for lenders to do. That includes reaching out to customers with support before people seek it, so that those of us trapped in a fog of stress and anxiety know what help is out there. When customers do get in touch, the offer from firms needs to be compassionate and practical. Roughly half of people who contacted their lender felt they were in a better position as a result, but that indicates there’s still some way to go to make sure anyone in financial difficulty can get the help they need.

“The pressure of price rises may have eased, but with millions of us missing payments, it’s absolutely critical that firms consider how they are communicating with customers. That includes reviewing how many times they contact people in debt, given how many people tell us how they’ve felt bombarded and harassed by the frequency of contact. This is really important in limiting the distress that the cost of living continues to cause.”




To set up an interview or for any other media enquiries, please contact Rachel Fergusson, External Affairs Officer at Money and Mental Health, on 07935 216 804 or [email protected]


Notes to Editors

About the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute

The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute is an independent charity set up by Martin Lewis, and committed to breaking the link between financial difficulty and mental health problems. We conduct research, develop practical policy solutions and work in partnership with both those providing services and those using them to find what really works.