One in five UK adults are proactively contacting their bank when in need of financial support, according to new research

  • New research1 shows that 58% of UK adults worried more about their finances in the last 12 months, when compared to the previous 12 months, as higher living costs continue. 

  • One in five adults are taking positive action and contacting their bank for support. 

  • While not seeing a significant increase in arrears, Santander UK helped more than 741,000 customers over the phone in 2023, up more than 11% from 2022. 

  • Kirsty, a Santander customer, shares her story about reaching out for support early and how it felt to get back on track. 


New research by Santander UK shows: 


  • 58% of UK adults worried more about their finances in the last 12 months than in the previous 12 months. 

  • Almost half (44%) of UK adults think about their money worries every day. 

  • 56% of UK adults admit their financial worries are affecting their wellbeing.  

  • More than half (58%) are worried their financial situation will get worse in 2024. 

  • 1 in 5 people are taking positive action and proactively speaking to their bank about their financial worries. 


Josie Clapham, Director of Financial Support, Santander UK said: “These figures are not surprising, and for those particularly feeling the pressure this month, you’re not alone. While we’re not seeing a significant increase in customers missing payments, last year we spoke with 741,000 customers who had concerns – up more than 11% from 2022.  

“There’s lots of support available online, in our branches and via our dedicated financial support teams to help you take the first step to regaining control of your finances. That’s why we say to people, don’t worry alone, chat with us; we’re here to help. We can’t change things over night, but we can help you relieve some of that worry, make positive choices, and ultimately get back on track.”  

In January, Santander typically sees a 15% rise in customer calls and 30% more visits to their Financial Support web pages (when compared to the last three months of the year).  

The team of 600 Customer Care Specialists offer a range of support over the phone, from a step-by-step run through of Santander’s online budget planner, to simply having that first conversation with a customer to put their mind at ease. In 2023 alone, Santander supported more than 741,000 customers in financial difficulty over the phone, with 97,000 customers completing a free online Budget Calculator and Financial Health Check.  

One of those customers was Kirsty2, who speaks about how she felt after taking the first step and reaching out to Santander for support: “After that first conversation with Santander, it felt like a massive weight off my shoulders. The person on the other end of the chat was warm, and that kind of human aspect really helped. It was a relief to know that I could get things sorted out and see that change so quickly. It made realise that people genuinely want to help you, and there’s so much more I feel like I can do now that I’m back on track.” 

For those in need of additional wellbeing support or debt advice, Santander signposts customers to third party support such as mental health charity, Mind, and free debt advice service, PayPlan.  

Peter Munro, Partnerships Director at PayPlan said: “At PayPlan, we understand the impact money worries can have on an individual’s mental health. That’s why we work with Santander and other organisations to encourage people who might be struggling with their finances to reach out for help as soon as possible. One conversation can be all it takes to relieve some of that worry, with 90% of our customers telling us their mental wellbeing improved after speaking to PayPlan.” 

Josie added: “We know talking about your finances isn’t easy, but taking that first step and reaching out for support early not only puts your mind at ease, it can also make a real difference to the outcome.”   

A range of online support and tips, include Santander’s free Financial Health Check and Budget Calculator, can be found on our website. 


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The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. 


Notes to Editors  

  1. Research conducted via OnLineBus, an Internet omnibus survey from 27 December 2023 to 8 January 2024. Based on a sample of 2,535 adults in the UK aged 18+. 

  1. Kirsty’s Story: Interviews available on request. 


Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 30 June 2023, the bank had around 19,400 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, 7 million digital customers via a nationwide 445 branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the FCA and the PRA in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the FSCS in the UK. 

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in the Europe, North America and South America regions, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Santander aims to be the best open financial services platform providing services to individuals, SMEs, corporates, financial institutions and governments. The bank’s purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising €220 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2030. At the end of the third quarter of 2023, Banco Santander had €1.3 trillion in total funds, 166 million customers, 8,700 branches and 212,000 employees. 


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