MRM’s fourth annual Young Money Report, “Generation Austerity: Brexit and beyond”, looks at the attitudes to finance of 1,000 18-25 year olds who have grown up in the dark shadow of austerity. The study considers the views of young people on a range of topics including
- pensions and benefits
- advice and access
- saving and spending and investing and the economy
as well as featuring contributions from key industry experts across the financial services industry.
Much of the writing and research of this report took place in the wake of the UK’s momentous decision to leave the EU. Many hadn’t expected this, including the markets, with sterling crashing on the news and the stock markets plummeting.
Young people and Brexit not quite what it appears
There was an unprecedented period of national soul-searching in the days that followed and it was to young people that a lot of attention turned. The first stats which emerged showed that they had gone against the status quo, with 71% of 18-24 year olds voting to remain. However, the turnout stats told a different story. Research by Sky Data indicated that of 18-24 year olds, only 36% had actually bothered to vote. So a familiar story emerged of young people watering down their bargaining power in important matters by not exercising their constitutional rights.
Trust in Financial Services low
A similar narrative around a lack of engagement crept into the results of the survey. Trust in financial services is low, and apathy high. Many young people are unwilling to engage fully in key areas of financial services including pensions, saving and investing – all of which are vital to the financial wellbeing of the population.
Face barriers that parents didn’t
However, the report also reveals that they face a number of barriers that their parents didn’t. Job uncertainty and few opportunities to get on the housing ladder, coupled with soaring rents and a lack of disposable income have all contributed to the inability of ‘Generation Austerity’ – let’s call it ‘Generation A’ – to engage with the sector. Nearly half of those we surveyed (48%) expected to be worse off following Brexit.
The report explores some of the reasons behind this, and together with the contributors, examines how we can encourage Generation A to interact more effectively with financial services, particularly as we consider the Brexit fall-out.
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