The “High Wire Britain” research was last undertaken in 2003, when Scottish Provident commissioned market research specialists Ipsos MORI to investigate consumer lifestyles and attitudes. The key areas explored were:
• Lifestyle changes: is our standard of living rising or falling?
• Attitudes to home ownership and debt
• Consumer attitudes to protection
• Attitudes to partying/ eating out/ holidays
• Regional attitudes to saving
• Attitudes to relying on the state
• Insurance/ life assurance
• Where people go for financial advice
Now, for 2009, as Britain battles with the largest financial crisis this generation has seen, Scottish Provident has commissioned the research again to measure behavioural and attitudinal shifts when it comes to managing personal finances and priorities.
Susan Barclay, of Scottish Provident, said: “When Scottish Provident ran the High Wire Britain research in 2003, we were shocked at consumer attitudes to personal finance and protection, but then we had benefited from a sharply rising property market for several years and enjoyed record lows of unemployment.
“Sadly, that is not the case. We are literally living the “high” life – on a high wire juggling mortgage repayments, credit card debt and general living costs – with little or no safety net should we take a fall.
“It is now more important than ever for advisers to speak to their clients and make sure they have appropriate arrangements in place should the worst happen. You wouldn’t walk a high wire without a strong safety net to protect you – isn’t it time we protected ourselves against a financial fall?”