No end in sight for Leeds residents’ financial woes

The results of a survey by financial services provider Leeds Credit Union (LCU) has revealed that 51% of its members believe the financial situation in their household has become worse or much worse over the last 12 months.

The survey also showed its members are overwhelmingly pessimistic about the chances of their financial circumstances improving over the coming 12 months, with more than two thirds of respondents – 71% – revealing they expect to save less in comparison to the previous 12 months. 30% believe they will be unable to save anything at all.

Both figures have increased since LCU’s summer survey in 2022, in which 43% expected to save less over the coming year and 28% predicted they would be unable to save at all, indicating people in the region are now even more pessimistic about their financial future than they were a year ago.

Furthermore, 33% of respondents expect their situation to get even worse over the next 12 months, while just 36% expect their household’s financial situation to improve.

A huge 84% of respondents said they would currently hold off from making any major purchases – such as a car or new sofa – as a result of their financial situation, reinforcing the financial pessimism gripping the region while also dealing another significant blow to retailers.

Although the onset of spring has led to some households beginning to plan their summer holidays, 52% of respondents to the LCU survey said they expected they would be unable to enjoy any sort of summer holiday this year, with just 27% planning on holidaying abroad and 22% planning to holiday in the UK.

22% reported that they had had to cancel their holiday plans as a result of their financial position, while 37% said they will be forced to cut back on their usual holiday spend.

When pressed on the reasons for their current financial predicament and negative outlook, the rising price of energy bills was reported as the main concern among residents, with 85% saying they were worried about the cost. 62% reported worrying about food costs, while more than a quarter are worried about the price of fuel and rising mortgage/rent costs.

The survey of the credit union’s members was carried out in April, attracting 803 respondents.

LCU’s CEO Mark Fleet said:

“Although the financial difficulties facing people in our region have been well documented since the onset of the cost of living crisis, it is only through surveys like this that we can truly discover the impact it is having and in what areas.

“While the results of the survey undoubtedly make for disappointing – if unsurprising – reading, we would reassure anyone experiencing financial instability that support is always available from reputable financial companies such as ours.

“We would urge anyone in need of help to contact their local credit union as soon as possible and under no circumstances should you consider turning to high-interest lenders or loan sharks.

“As a not-for-profit organisation, we are dedicated to putting people first and serving the communities in which we operate by providing them with access to affordable and ethical loans, savings accounts and a specialist Money and Budgeting Service, with more competitive rates than those offered by high street banks and building societies.”

85% of respondents to LCU’s survey gave the company’s service a score of five out of five, with 96% saying they would recommend it to their friends and family.

Leeds Credit Union is a financial cooperative with 37,000 members that is available to anyone who lives or works in Leeds.

This post is based on a press release issued on behalf of Leeds Credit Union

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