Evaluation Scotland Wales

Understanding levels of adult financial capability across the whole of the UK

Financial Capability Survey

What is the survey?

The Financial Capability Survey is a nationally representative survey of adults living in the UK. The questionnaire covers the building blocks of financial capability:

  • current and longer term financial wellbeing
  • day-to-day behaviours like managing credit, active saving and keeping track of spending
  • planning behaviours like pension saving and building resilience against expected and unexpected life events
  • enablers and inhibitors like confidence, sense of control, financial numeracy and engagement with money information, advice and guidance.

We ran the survey in 2015 and again in 2018. The 2018 survey has many additional questions, for example around retirement planning among adults of working age and financial resilience in older people.

You can look separately at results for Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales - we carried out over 1,000 interviews in each devolved nation.

Review our initial findings.

The 2018 survey technical report gives more details about how we collected and processed the data.

How do I use the survey?

The survey informs the Money Advice Service (MAS) approach to commissioning. We use it to:

  • evaluate the UK Financial Capability Strategy
  • understand the profile of MAS’s ‘squeezed’, ‘struggling’ and ‘cushioned’ segments
  • summarise the building blocks of financial capability.

The 2018 building blocks technical report describes the analysis in much more detail.

How can I get the data?

We would like as many people as possible to use and share the findings. The data is freely available and may be used with acknowledgment. The full 2018 dataset is available from the UK Data Archive.

Download this infographic of highlights from the survey results.

We have included key questions from the survey in our outcomes frameworks and question banksopens in new window, which are designed to help organisations measure changes in people’s financial capability.