New research from the Fairbanking Foundation reveals that over the past five years, 45% of adults claim they have suffered from health conditions caused by having money problems.
The Fairbanking Foundation is a not-for-profit charity dedicated to encouraging banking institutions to improve the financial well-being of their customers.
Since 2009, 33% say personal finance issues have caused them to suffer from stress, and 22% claim it has contributed to them having depression. 19% say money worries have caused them to suffer from insomnia and 5% say it resulted in them being physically sick.
Money worries have also caused millions of people to either lose their jobs or fall out with partners and friends, the research suggests. Some 6% of people say that since 2010 they have lost jobs as a result of having financial problems, while the same number claim they broke up with partners because of this. 12% said money problems resulted in them developing eating disorders, and 7% said they started to drink too much. Some 1% says it resulted in them taking drugs.
Findings from the debt charity StepChange suggest more people are getting into debt problems. Figures published earlier this year revealed that in 2014 nearly 600,000 people contacted it for help, a rise of 56% since 2012. A survey of its clients revealed that thinking about their debt problems had resulted in 37.9% having chest pains and rapid heartbeat, and 29.5% complained it caused them to suffer from nervousness and shaking, and ringing in their ears.
Antony Elliott, chief executive of Fairbanking Foundation, said: “The health of our finances and how we manage our money has a huge impact on our lives, and in some cases as our research shows, the effects of this can be devastating.
“The financial services industry is doing more to help customers who fall into financial difficulty, but our research suggests that people think it could do more. Of those people who encountered financial difficulties over the past five years, only 14% said that they thought their banks and creditors were supportive.
“We are working with a number of banks and credit organisations to help them improve the transparency of their products, and the tools they make available to customers to help them manage their money better. We are seeing a growing desire from the industry to engage with us, which is encouraging.”