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Covid-19 has resulted in a decline in financial wellbeing - rising bills and debt are increasing concerns

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Today, Intrum publishes a whitepaper that outlines the financial impact of Covid-19 on private households across 24 European countries. The whitepaper provides an initial follow-up on the trends in increased economic pressure and decreased financial wellbeing reported in Intrum’s European Consumer Payment Report 2019*.

The key findings from the whitepaper display additional financial challenges faced by private households in Europe. As expected, a general increase in financial stress is reported. However, one in three respondents say that the pandemic is having a positive effect on their financial spending.

As the world struggles with the immediate health issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the disruption of economies across Europe is having a severe impact on consumer finances, businesses, and society in general. However, an increase in overall financial awareness and opportunities to change financial spending and thus increase savings, is allowing many European consumers to overcome these uncertain times in a somewhat positive way,” says Mikael Ericson, President & CEO of Intrum. 

Decline in financial wellbeing across Europe:

  • 48% say their financial wellbeing has declined compared to six months ago
    • Greece 67%, Spain 59%, Italy 59%
    • Millennials: 53%
    • Parents: 55%, non-parents: 44%
  • Only 23% expect it to improve in six months
    • In Italy, this number falls to only 8%
  • 45% say concern over rising bills have a negative effect on their health (2019: 43%)
    • Parents: 51% parents (2019: 48%)
    • Non-parents 41% (2019: 41%) 

Decrease in income raise concerns of bills and debt:

  • Nearly four in 10 have had their employment affected by Covid-19, while more than half (54 per cent) have seen a decrease in household income
  • One in five consumers have gone into more debt to cover everyday spending as a direct result of Covid-19
    • Millennials: 24%
    • Parents: 22%, non-parents: 16%
  • Increase in number of people who borrow money to pay bills, up from 12% in 2019 to 18%
    • Millennials: 22%
    • Parents: 21%, non-parents: 16%

Savings hit hard - face uncertain future:

  • 58% are dissatisfied with their ability to save each month (2019: 52%)
    • Parents: 62%, non-parents: 54%
  • 39% save significantly less for the future than they were before Covid-19
    • Millennials: 44%
    • Parents: 45%, non-parents: 36%
  • However, 36% say that the Covid-19 crisis has had a positive impact on their financial spending, and they are spending less on everyday items

“As expected, we see this foremost among vulnerable households with smallest financial margins, like young families but also millennials. The decline in financial wellbeing, rising bills and increasing debts are increasing concerns. To be able to challenge this trend, increased financial literacy among Europeans needs to be addressed even further,” says Ericson.

Download the report here:
The full whitepaper will be available on June 9th here: intrum.com/ecpr2020-whitepaper

About the survey:
Intrum interviewed 4,800 consumers in 24 European countries in May 2020. Respondents were selected according to  age and gender criteria to ensure representative samples based on national census data from each market.

* About Intrum European Consumer Payment Report 2019: Intrum has gathered data from 24,004 consumers in 24 European countries to gain insights into European consumers’ everyday lives, including their spending and ability to manage their household finances on a monthly basis. Intrum is speaking to 250 000 indebted consumers around Europe every day.

For further information, please contact:
Niclas Strahner, PR and Media Relations Director
Tel: +46 73 425 88 90

Anna Fall, Chief Brand & Communication Officer
Tel: +46 70 996 98 21

Intrum is the industry-leading provider of Credit Management Services with a presence in 24 markets in Europe. Intrum helps companies prosper by offering solutions designed to improve cash flows and long-term profitability and by caring for their customers. To ensure that individuals and companies get the support they need to become free from debt is one important part of the company’s mission. Intrum has circa 10,000 dedicated professionals who serve around 80,000 companies across Europe. In 2019, revenues amounted to SEK 16.0 billion. Intrum is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden and the Intrum share is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange. For further information, please visit www.intrum.com.