23 million adults apply or consider applying for financial services products every year

New research from Freedom Finance, one of the UK’s leading digital lending marketplaces, reveals the scale of demand for financial services products as more than two in five (43%) of UK adults – or around 23 million people – either considered or applied for at least one financial services product in the past year.

  • 43% of adults have considered or applied for a financial services product in the past year, equal to around 23 million people
  • One in two of every worker – equal to nearly 15 million – has also considered or applied for a product
  • Credit availability set to tighten into 2023 according to BoE figures, highlighting the need for consumers to shop around for loans

25–34-year-olds were most likely to have hunted for financial services, as they begin to lead increasingly complex financial lives as insurance and mortgages become more important – nearly three in five (57%) applied or considered at least one product.

Research highlights the challenges facing all borrowers as the availability of secured and unsecured credit hit the lowest levels since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to January’s Bank of England Credit Conditions2. With fewer lenders and products available, many consumers will benefit from using digital tools that allow them to compare a wide range of loans available to them rather than just going to their usual lenders.

David Hendry, Chief Marketing Officer at Freedom Finance said that high demand for financial services could be driven by the spectre of rising interest rates and increasing cost of living pressures.

“The fact that half of all workers in the UK looked for new financial services products in the past twelve months indicates the fundamental role the industry plays in our society, but also the opportunity for it to innovate and develop better products for customers.

“Almost all adults already have at least one credit product, but borrowers are still looking for products that suit their circumstances – whether that is to extend the borrowing or consolidate existing debt.

“The lending market is rapidly changing at the moment and improved use of data means people are able to find better-suited products more easily and securely. In a tightening credit market, incoming Consumer Duty legislation is likely to drive more lenders to adopt soft search technology into their digital real estate so that their customers can explore finance options while being sure not to harm their credit scores.”