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Brits Had Fewer Financial Regrets in 2012

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 02/01/13 -- Brits were happier with their finances in 2012 than the previous year, reveals first direct's third annual "Financial Regrets" survey. Despite falling disposal income, the results show that 60% of Britons were happy with their finances in 2012, an increase of eight per cent on 2011 (52%), and almost bouncing back to the levels of happiness seen in 2010 (64%).

For those who did have misgivings about their finances in 2012, not saving enough was their biggest regret; almost a third (32%) of those surveyed stated that their greatest financial misstep last year was not putting enough money away. However, while this remains the nation's biggest financial regret, the figures show a reduction of a fifth on the previous year (52%). Not paying off debt was the second most common regret in 2012, with almost a quarter of Britons (23%) wishing they had paid back more, compared to a third in 2011 (33%). Seven per cent regret not paying enough into their pension, a drop of 6% on 2011 (13%) and concluding the top 5, was not buying a property and not taking a home mortgage (4% versus 7% in 2011).

Top 5 Financial Regrets over past 3 years


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
   2012                  2011                       2010                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1  Not saving enough     Not saving enough     52%  Not paying off more  53%
   32%                                              of my debts             
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2  Not paying off more   Not paying off more   33%  Not paying into a    37%
   of my debts 23%       of my debts                pension                 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3  Not paying in to a    Not paying into a     13%  Spending too much on 18%
   pension 7%            pension                    run up to Christmas     
                                                    and gifts               
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
4  Spending too much on  Not buying a property 12%  Staying in a rented  14%
   a partner 4%          and renting rather         property too long       
                         than buying                                        
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
5  Not buying a          Spending too much     7%   Spending too much    14%
   property 4%           money on a partner         money on a partner      
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interestingly almost 60% of those living in the North East said they had no financial regrets in 2012 versus just over 35% in London. In Wales just over a quarter regretted not paying off debt and not saving enough (26%). And in Yorkshire 6% felt they'd spent too much on their partner, 2% more than the average.

Nearly half of men said they had no financial regrets in 2012 versus just over two-fifths of women; however both genders ranked not saving enough at the top of their list of financial regrets in 2012.

Andy Forbes, Head of Product at first direct commented:

"Against a backdrop of inflation running higher than average wage increases, it's great to hear that people are positive about their finances and have fewer financial regrets. It seems that they are focussing on reducing their debt and increasing their savings.

"It's always a good idea to plan ahead, as good organisation can help pay off debts more quickly and increase disposable income to help save for all those little treats."

Notes to Editors

The survey was carried out by Opinion Matters between the 4th and 18th January 2013 for first direct and questioned 2002 people aged 16 and over. Full survey results are available on request.

For the latest updates, visit the first direct Newsroom or follow us on Twitter.

first direct provides both telephone banking and online banking services to its 1.2m customers. It offers a full range of personal banking products including its award winning Current Account and offset mortgages.

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