Capital One partners with Rethink Mental Illness to offer support for those experiencing health difficulties and financial hardship.
- 1 in 10 working adults experienced an employment issue since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- 42% of working adults saw a reduction in their wages.
- Only one in seven (14%) people experiencing income problems alongside a mental or physical health problem had told a health professional.
- The vast majority (98%) had not disclosed any information about their concerns or condition(s) to their financial provider, or to their landlord or mortgage provider.
February 2021: Millions of UK households have been facing multiple difficulties relating to their jobs, finances, personal health, and the health of their loved ones since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, but very few have sought the support and guidance of professionals, new research from Capital One UK reveals.
Financial services provider, Capital One, has conducted a study to find out more about the potential barriers to opening up about difficulties, in order to develop its approach to helping customers with vulnerabilities.
Covid-19 has undoubtedly hit the nation hard, with one in ten working adults (10%) personally experiencing an employment issue since the start of the pandemic, and 42% seeing a reduction in their household income, the Capital One study insight revealed. Two in five (41%) admitted they are worried about their financial future, with one in ten (11%) feeling very worried.
But alongside uneasiness about income and what the future will hold, many revealed that they have also been living with conditions that make their day-to-day even more challenging.
A statement by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) opens in a new tab
, who regulates financial services firms in the UK, advised that more than 24 million adults living in Britain, display one or more potential characteristics of vulnerability. These include physical and mental health issues, recent life events such as bereavement, capability, and financial resilience. The FCA has advised financial firms to do more to ensure that vulnerable consumers are receiving positive outcomes.
According to Capital One's research, 2020 saw an estimated 4.76 million people in the UK (7%)* personally experience a mood disorder such as depression, and 4.08 million (6%)* living with a physical disability which had been cause for further concern.
In times of trouble, it is loved ones who the nation often turns to, and despite limitations on face-to-face interaction, over half (54%) of those who have met with financial adversity or battled health problems have opened up to family about this in the last year.
However, in spite of the severity of some people's money and health worries, many are choosing not to seek help from professionals and authorities who may be in a position to support them. Just one in seven (14%) people who said they have been concerned about their income or a mental or physical health problem had so far told a health professional – 86% had not sought their help.
Perhaps less surprisingly, 98% had not disclosed any information about their concerns or condition(s) to their financial provider, or to their landlord or mortgage provider. More than one in ten (12%) had not told anyone about how they were feeling, or what they were struggling with.
As part of Capital One's study, it also explored the reasons why so many people choose not to tell their financial provider specifically about any health vulnerabilities or financial worries, in order to determine where this uneasiness stems from.
Four in five (84%) said they would not be comfortable talking about this with their financial provider, while six in ten (60%) said it ‘is none of their business', and a third (34%) believed it ‘wouldn't change anything'. Around one in six (17%) felt that ‘the information could be used against me' while one in eight (12%) said they ‘wouldn't know where to start' when asking for help from their financial provider.
With this in mind, Capital One has this week launched its #MentalWealth campaign which aims to educate the nation on the commonality of mental health issues relating to finances, and to overcome the stigma surrounding them. As part of the campaign, they have partnered with Rethink Mental Illness to create tools and resources to guide and support those who may be experiencing financial problems which may be impacting their mental health, or vice versa.
Tim Hawley, Head of Customer Vulnerability at Capital One said:
"We recognise that many people face untold challenges in their day-to-day lives, and Covid-19 has, for numerous households, exacerbated pre-existing concerns.
"While our help has always been available, we acknowledge that some customers aren't yet aware of this and that we needed to do more to encourage these conversations. A third (36%)1 of the people we surveyed did not believe their financial provider offered services that support with any stated vulnerabilities, while 40% were unsure.
"If any of our customers are struggling with their income, their health, or are worried about a loved one, we want them to know that they can talk to us – disclosing personal information only has benefits, not consequences.
"We are here to help people succeed with credit, and when a customer invites us in to help, we can make a real difference. People might be worried we will judge them, might not know that we can adapt our processes to support their needs or that we have the contacts in specialist organisations who can support beyond their financial management. We want people to know we are part of the solution rather than a problem, and it all starts when they let us know.
"Our staff at Capital One are trained to provide empathy and support in a wide range of situations which we might all find ourselves in. We are not here to judge; we are here to help our customers. When someone is confident to tell us, we can securely note it down so nobody has to explain every time they call, and we can then provide tailored support on every contact."
Sarah Murphy, Associate Director for Advice, Information & Training at Rethink Mental Illness commented:
"After such a tough year, it's more important than ever that we understand the link between our finances and our mental health. We are delighted to be working alongside Capital One to share tools and resources to help people feel more confident managing their finances and to understand the support that's available to them.
"Many people feel uncomfortable having frank conversations about their finances, but disclosing these issues is not a sign of weakness and can be the first step to accessing the right support. With more people struggling in the wake of the pandemic, we're encouraging Capital One's customers to use these resources and to explore the range of support that they can access, to help support their financial and mental wellbeing."
More information about the #MentalWealth campaign can be found here: https://www.capitalone.co.uk/support/mental-wealth.jsf.
More information and guidance for Capital One customers who are struggling with money can be found here: https://www.capitalone.co.uk/support/struggling-with-money.jsf.