Financial knowledge will soon become the 'new black', suggests latest figures from MORI Market Dynamics, as more UK consumers are pulling their heads out of the sand when it comes to dealing with their finances.
MORI Market Dynamics' Consumer Finance report published yesterday suggests almost half of UK consumers will be confident they have enough knowledge about financial services by 2008 or strive to become more knowledgeable over time, compared with only one-third of people today.
The 'head burier' culture among consumers will still dominate the financial attitude in the UK in four years time. However, the report predicts the figure will drop from 25m people to around 23m within four years.
Currently, more than six million consumers see themselves as 'connoisseurs', in that they regard themselves as both confident and interested in financial services markets. Some 10m people also say they are striving to gain more knowledge about finance.
These figures are likely to increase from almost 8m and 12m respectively in 2008, the market analyst firm says.
Jon Francis, managing director of MORI Market Dynamics says: "It is encouraging that people will be more savvy with their money by 2008 but clearly there is a long way to go and we believe that the industry and government have to do more to help change the 'Head Burier' culture, currently so prevalent across the UK.
He continues: "In the longer term we expect that sheer necessity coupled with pressures as diverse as media coverage, the internet, government and supply side initiatives, will increase connoisseurship among financial service consumers. This will largely be at the expense of the 'Head Buriers', who will slowly decline in number as financial education improves and interest in personal finance increases."
On a different note, the MORI report also suggests the mortgage market will suffer over the coming years with a 3%drop in real terms for this year alone. A spokesperson for MORI Market Dynamics says the mortgage market looks a bit uncertain over the next two years, but believes it will grow slightly in 2006 and 2007 before slowing again in 2008.
Overall, the market analyst suggests the mortage market will only grow 6% in real terms by 2008.
That said, protection, non life savings and health markets will see significant growth, the report adds.IFAonline
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