Banks and insurance companies must work together if they want to reduce current levels of consumer debt and boost long-term savings in the UK, suggests Datamonitor.
Both parties are currently focusing on their own problems and issues surrounding debt and the savings gap, says Datamonnitor.
However, ithe consultancy firm warns in its report on consumer debt "it is time for joined thinking", because unless positive changes occur there may be "catastrophic consequences" for both consumers and providers.
Unsecured UK consumer debt amounted to £207bn last year, while secured lending in the form of mortgages and remortgages rose to £271bn.
Although debt is currently affordable because of low interest rates, any future rate rises could see many people end up struggling with repayments, Datamonitor adds.
Liz Hartley, analyst and author of the report, says "banks and insurance firms must put consumer interests first.
"With the lines between banks and insurers increasingly blurred, companies should consider innovative ways to combine the cost of buying a home with contributing to a personal pension.
"Offering better mortgage rates to consumers who are also contributing into a pension scheme with the same company could be just one way forward.
"The industry must try harder for the sake of consumers and their long-term financial health. There must be more discussion about the long-term impact of lenders' policies and financial services companies need to help consumers rebalance their finances," she concludes.IFAonline
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