Two-thirds worried about their long-term finances, study shows

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MORE than two-thirds of Yorkshire people are worried about their long-term financial prospects, according to a new study.

Research from Sheffield-based current account provider, Ffrees Family Finance, suggests that just under half (43 per cent) of people in Yorkshire and the Humber are unable to save money each month.

Sixty six per cent worry about their ability to save.

The research has been released as part of a campaign to reveal the true picture of Britain’s “savings crisis”.

Commissioned in conjunction with YouGov, Ffrees polled UK adults with gross personal incomes below £24,000.

Ninety per cent of respondents in Yorkshire and the Humber said they were concerned about the increase in utility bills and their ability to pay them. Thirty nine per cent are worried about retirement while 28 per cent find it hard to manage their bills and outgoings each month.

Alex Letts, the chief executive, Ffrees Family Finance, said: “Simply adding more high street banking competition is actually irrelevant. That is just ‘same old-same old’.

“The banking model needs reinvention and a new attitude. The focus needs to switch from how to increase fees and charges, to helping people save up and manage their bills.”

Ffrees has collaborated with industry stakeholders to analyse the financial issues affecting people in Britain with lower incomes.

The group has developed a charter outlining initiatives that it believes will help tackle Britain’s savings crisis.

The group believes that savings targets should be set for families that are achievable for all, not just for wealthy families.

It also supports the idea of setting numeric goals for “rainy day saving” such as £1 a day, like the five-a-day food campaign.

The group plans to create a media campaign reinforcing the benefits of a savings culture. It also argues that staff-saving-schemes should become part of basic company packages.

Opening a savings account must be made as easy as taking out a payday loan, the group said.

The research found that 60 per cent of respondents have been in debt for more than two years; and 90 per cent are concerned about banking charges when taking out a loan or overdraft.