For the first time, we have overlaid our Good Credit Index with Lowell’s Financial Vulnerability Index to investigate the relationship between financial vulnerability and lack of access to affordable credit in the UK.
The research finds that people in the Government’s Levelling Up priority areas are being particularly hit hard by a personal debt crisis, with Middlesbrough and Blackpool the worst affected areas.
The report suggests that while some of the areas that are most affected by a personal debt crisis are likely battlegrounds for the next general election, the Government should not focus solely on marginal seats as that would mean ignoring some of the areas most at risk of debt crises, such as cities outside London.
In order to respond to this crisis, we must: deal with underlying issues of deprivation, expand the affordable credit market, and provide place-based approaches tailored to the particular needs and attitudes of each local area.
The Double Whammy sets out recommendations for the Government and the Financial Conduct Authority to help solve the causes of the crisis and to tackle problem debt.