CRIF: Brits have ‘different relationship’ to credit than Europeans

Ellie Duncan,
09 Oct 2023

UK consumers are the least likely in Europe to worry about how the cost-of-living crisis has affected their credit rating, despite being the most impacted by it, according to new research.

The study by CRIF, a European provider of digital transformation solutions for the financial services industry, found that only 20% of Brits are worried about the impact that the current rise in the cost living is having on their credit score and ability to borrow.

Excluding the UK, on average 37% of people in Europe said they worried about the impact on their credit score, rising to 49% in France, 45% in Spain and 44% of Italians.

While 63% of Europeans say the cost-of-living crisis has made them “more mindful” about getting into debt in the future, by comparison, 49% of Brits said they felt this way.

The research, which forms part of CRIF’s Banking on Banks 2023 report, also revealed that 27% of Europeans worry that they may no longer qualify for products and services that they previously would have, compared to only 19% of people in the UK who are concerned about this.

Sara Costantini

CRIF’s Sara Costantini

Sara Costantini, regional director for UK and Ireland at CRIF, said the research showed that Brits have a different relationship to credit and lending, compared to their European neighbours, and pointed to a “clear role” for banks and lenders.

“Whereas many on the continent are looking ahead to how they can bolster their finances to better withstand future economic shocks, many in Britain show less concern about their credit score or avoiding debt in the future,” she said.

“There is a clear role here for banks and lenders to ensure Brits are using credit responsibly and can afford to repay,” Costantini added.

“Utilising the latest digital banking innovations will help lenders better understand their customers’ needs and provide them with insights and services that can help them improve their financial health.”

CRIF recently published research which revealed that 23% of adults in the UK and Europe said their levels of personal debt are the highest they have been, as a result of the rising cost of living.

Sara Costantini is speaking at this year’s Open Banking Expo UK and Europe on the findings of the Banking on Banks report, and what banks and lenders across Europe must do to meet their customers’ needs.