Bleak figures from HSBC show that an estimated 8.5 million people in the UK would not be able to last a full week on their current savings, if their income was totally interrupted for any reason.
The bank compiled the figures to determine how illness or job loss might affect the typical household, and whether the amount people have in savings is enough to keep meeting outgoings on everything from essential living costs to servicing their debts.
Unfortunately it seems for many people the answer is no, as 24% of households have no savings at all and 33% in total have less than £250 – enough to last just four days at the typical cost of living.
Three in ten said they would default on their mortgage if their income was interrupted, and 17% would try to borrow their way out of the red using their overdraft, credit cards or a personal loan.
Only 9% have an insurance policy in place that would be likely to pay out to protect them, and this is actually down from 12% in 2013, an indication that Brits are even less prepared for financial problems now than was the case in the past.
For creditors, it is a timely reminder that many households are living at the rock bottom of affordability and, if they show signs of financial distress, those who act fastest are most likely to recover at least some of what they are owed.
Our tracing service can help you to keep track of debtors you think might be a flight risk, while our credit control services help to reduce the total number of days you wait on average to be paid – which in turn leaves less time for your customers to declare bankruptcy or enter into insolvency arrangements that prevent you from receiving what you are owed.