Young Brits Lead Europe in Shunning Bricks and Mortar Banking for Digital

  • Banking
  • 05.06.2023 10:40 am

Young Brits are significantly more likely than others in Europe to prioritise digital over physical in-person services when choosing a bank or lender, new research has found.

The findings – commissioned by CRIF, Europe’s leading provider of digital transformation for financial services – found only one in five (21%) of those aged 18-34 in the UK would now choose a bank based on it having a nearby branch.

By contrast, consumers in all other European countries surveyed put access to a branch as their top deciding factor when choosing a bank. Young Italians remain twice as likely as Brits to choose a bank based on this (42%), followed by French (33%), Austrians (31%), German (32%) and Spanish (30%) young people, who all prioritise access to bricks and mortar services.

Highlighting the UK’s shift to digital banking, a quarter (26%) of young people said they would now want a bank that provides them with detailed budgeting and analysis of their spending, while a similar proportion (23%) said they would choose a bank which shows them their credit score without having to leave their banking app. One in five (21%) also want to be able to submit information and documentation digitally rather than in-person or by post.

The stats show a shift in priorities across generations when it comes to choosing a bank or lender in the UK. Having a physical bank branch nearby is still the most important factor when it comes to choosing a bank for those aged 35 and over in the UK.

With the cost of living crisis leaving a third (33%) of young Brits with less money at the end of each month, there is a growing desire among consumers to better understand their financial situation, with many acknowledging the benefits that sharing more of their data with financial providers can bring.

More than four in ten young Brits (45%) said they would be happy to share more of their financial data if it helped them keep track of spending, save more easily and help with credit or loans applications. A similar number of 18-34s (42%) also said they are now comfortable connecting third-party apps to their banking services to help them manage their finances, significantly higher than those aged 35-54 (22%) and over 55s (5%).

Sarah Costantini, Regional Director for the UK & Ireland at CRIF said: “While the cost of living crisis is undoubtedly playing its part, there’s a general trend emerging showing that young people in the UK are leading the way in Europe when it comes to embracing digital and online methods of banking.

“Banks and lenders must now adapt and keep up with this shifting consumer demand, as well as recognising that consumers are becoming increasingly willing to share their financial data if it means that they can better manage their finances. Technologies such as open banking are laying the foundations for not only increased financial support, but tailored financial products and services too.”

The new data forms part of CRIF’s upcoming 2023 Banking on Banks report. It builds on 2022’s report and research, which found people in the UK as nearly twice as likely than other Europeans to prefer applying for financial products and services online over in-person.

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