Introduction to the FVI:
A clear picture of financial vulnerability in the UK
The Financial Vulnerability Index is an innovative tool to measure and track financial resilience, nationally and locally, across the UK. Created by Lowell and the Urban Institute, and provided by Opinium, the index brings together unique consumer data and publicly available measures to give a clear picture of financial vulnerability in the UK.
By using this tool, policymakers, local authorities, and other stakeholders can gain valuable insight into the financial health of their constituents and better target resources to improve financial resilience. Users can see Financial Vulnerability Index scores and their components for each quarter since 2017 for any nation, region, or parliamentary constituency.
Overall FVI score
Average credit use
Adults in default
Without emergency savings
Alternative financial products
The three important findings of the latest wave of the Financial Vulnerability Index are:
Resilience and recovery in the UK economy?
Most of the FVI indicators have shown an improvement from a small uptick in the winter suggestion a certain level of resilience in the UK economy.
The proportion of adults that are Lowell customers in default has fallen, along with average credit use dropping reflecting a greater focus on reducing debt.
Successful consumer debt management?
The decrease in credit usage in recent months is surprising but leads to a suspicion that higher interest rates have pushed some consumers to prioritize reducing their credit usage.
However, with that and the long-term decline in high-cost loan options, it remains unclear how consumers are paying off their debt.
Reliance on social benefits for some consumers
The increase in the number of benefits claimants to 8.6% suggests ongoing economic challenges for some that the government is having to step into help with.
The diverging trends of declining numbers in default and levels of credit usage, and the rise in social benefits, suggest different competing pressures and trends on UK households.
Explore the results in detail:
Identify trends and patterns relevant to local areas
The Data Explorer enables you to explore the results of the Financial Vulnerability Index in granular detail, at a regional and constituency level. Users can find their region or constituency and view the data broken down by each indicator.
The tool gives users the ability to visualize the data to help identify trends and patterns relevant to their local area and understand the geographical relationships within the index.
Key Regional Insights
Explore the regional differences:
Take a look at the score across several cities and metropolitan areas
Financial vulnerability varies in how it impacts different cities and regions of the UK. Here we take a look at the score across several cities and metropolitan areas to provide greater context to policymakers responding to the complex demands of larger urban areas.
Financial Vulnerability Index scores have decreased in each region at a fairly consistent rate. The change in each region from Q2 2022 ranges from a decline of 1.8 ppts in the West Midlands to 2.7 ppts in Scotland. As a result, the relative level of financial vulnerability by region has remained consistent.
A summary of the methodology.
The Urban Institute developed the Financial Vulnerability Index methodology with data collected from Lowell’s customer database, the FCA Financial Lives Survey and NOMIS. The index is calculated with the following metrics:
- Consumers who are in default [Lowell]
- Consumers with high-cost loans [Lowell]
- Average credit use [Lowell]
- Consumers claiming social benefits [NOMIS]
- Consumers using alternative financial products [FCA]
- Consumers without emergency savings [FCA]
Lowell’s proprietary data included over 9 million records, with results calculated at a parliamentary level and then used to build a regional and a national picture.
About the FVI
Opinium & Lowell Partnership
Lowell Group is one of Europe’s largest credit management companies with a mission to make credit work better for all. As part of this mission, Lowell is using its proprietary data of 9 million customer accounts to provide free access to insight into the UK’s financial health for policymakers at a national, regional and constituency level.
Lowell and Opinium have formed a partnership to leverage the value of the insight in the FVI to aid policy makers.