New research from Metro Bank, conducted by YouGov, has revealed the extent to which people are getting set to take control of their finances in 2021.

When asked about managing their money better in 2021 compared with 2020, more than one in two Brits (54%) agreed they are determined to start doing so – rising to two thirds (67%) of 25-34 year olds.

Two thirds (65%) of Brits also want to save more next year than they did this year, and more than half (54%) want to spend less. This rises to 79% and 62% respectively among 25-34 year olds.

Less than one in 10 (8%) say they are not planning on saving any money in 2021, with people, on average, aiming to save around £4,400 next year.

Committing to New Year, new you

When it comes to committing to a finance-related New Year’s resolution – less than one in five (18%) of Brits say they plan to set one for 2021. This is however a 50% increase on the one in eight (12%) people who said they made a finance-related resolution for 2020, with seven in 10 agreeing they’ve stuck to their resolution so far this year.

Women (21%) are more likely than men (14%) to make a finance-related New Year’s resolution for 2021, alongside three in 10 (31%) 25-34 year olds compared with only one in 10 (10%) over 55s.

After saving more (52%) and spending less (40%), the most popular finance-related resolutions for 2021 are:

  1. Reduce my debt (25%)
  2. Get out of debt (18%)
  3. Get a better interest rate on my savings (17%)
  4. Improve my credit score (15%)
  5. Create a personal budget (11%)

Keeping a close eye on the festive spending

If New Year’s Eve 2019 is anything to go by, Metro Bank data shows plenty of customers keeping a close track on their spending and account balances during the festive period. There were more than 400,000 logins to the Metro Bank mobile app on New Year’s Eve 2019.

The bank’s mobile app data also reveals:

  • 230,000+ logins on Christmas Day 2019 – with between 11am and 1pm the most popular time to login
  • 320,000+ logins to the Metro Bank mobile app on Boxing Day 2019
  • 330,000+ logins on New Year’s Day 2020

Jo MacDonald, Director of Bank Accounts & Deposits at Metro Bank, says: “We all love to start the New Year afresh and probably never more so than now, as we bid farewell to the challenges of 2020. It’s great to see from our research how many people want to start managing their money better in 2021. A bit of time spent on finding the provider that best meets your banking needs and delivers great service will be time well spent as people get set for the year ahead.”

New research from Metro Bank, conducted by YouGov, has revealed the extent to which people worry about their personal belongings.

As Christmas is fast approaching and police warn the public not to put their presents out for others to see, it’s no surprise that a quarter of British adults that say they have a prized possession  – around 8 million people – are worried about losing their possessions as a result of theft.

Alongside the one in four people who are worried about theft, more than three in 10 are worried about losing their prized possessions in a fire and nearly one in seven (15%) worry about their items being destroyed by water damage.

What precious items are people hiding?

When asked to choose their most prized possession from a list in the survey, there was much variety in the responses received. The most popular prized possession – named by almost one in ten  – was a photo album, with wedding or engagement rings (8%) closely following behind.

When asked if there was anything else they see as a prized possession, some of the more surprising items include:

  • Prized whisky collections
  • Childhood teddy bears
  • Wartime diaries
  • Fishing rods
  • Vintage Star Wars collectibles

Where are Brits keeping their prized possessions?

More than a fifth of keep their cherished item in a drawer or filing cabinet and almost one in 10 (8%) keep their special belonging in the garage, loft and even in the shed. A small percentage of the country admitted that they keep their most treasured item under the bed (2%) or in a shoebox (2%). 38% of people say they only use their most prize possession once every six months or less.

Metro Bank offers Safe Deposit Boxes in a range of sizes starting from just £20 a month. The boxes are available in each of the bank’s 77 stores, with the majority open seven days a week and giving customers unlimited access to their Safe Deposit Boxes. These are available long term or short term and provide proper security for people’s most prized possessions, whether that be jewellery, a stamp collection or confidential documents.

Jeremy Lawrey, Head of Retail Accounts and Partnerships, says: “As Christmas approaches, many of us will worry about the safety of our belongings. Whether your most cherished possession is an old family heirloom, a special piece of jewellery or even a passport or house deeds, our Safe Deposit Boxes enable you to safely store your belongings in a secure environment.”

New research from Aldermore bank, asking 2,000 UK adults about their savings habits, reveals that the Covid-19 pandemic has enabled Brits working from home to save an average of £110 per week. This change in routine has significantly changed people’s weekly spending and indicates that Brits will be more savings savvy in the future.

Every little helps

Brits are finding that even small savings gained by working from home are adding up quickly, and over time are providing big saving rewards. The biggest savings include on average £29 per week from not commuting to and from work, £20 on not spending as much on breakfasts and lunches, £22 on not socialising with work colleagues in person, £18 by avoiding takeaway coffees, and £22 on not going out on weekdays after work. All these savings accumulate and total on average £2,860 over a period of six months working from home.

The saving habits adopted due to the Covid-19 pandemic are likely to continue beyond this period and turn into better long-term spending routines. Almost half (47%) of workers plan on cutting down on past expenses, such as work lunches, takeaway coffees or colleague drinks, when things return more to normal. In addition, almost two thirds (68%) of Brits say that in the future they will continue to implement cost cutting techniques learned during lockdown to save money. The most mentioned savings methods were; shopping less frequently for non-essentials (33%), spending less on socialising (29%) and reducing the cost of the weekly shop (22%).

Savings by workers contributed significantly to the growth in UK house deposits, which rose by a record £88bn between March and September 2020, up 183% from £31bn during the same period last year.

Ewan Edwards, director of savings at Aldermore, said: “This has been undoubtedly a difficult year with many challenges being faced, but one positive to take from 2020 is it has given some people the opportunity to reflect on how to improve their personal finances. Our data shows how little savings here and there can in the long term add up to big rewards, and many Brits are now seeing the benefits of better saving routines.

“It’s important to ensure this spare cash is working for you as best as possible, and not just lying dormant in a current account. As we look towards returning to more normality in the future, this is a good opportunity to find a savings account which suits your personal 2021 savings goals and make all those little and big savings work harder for you.”

New research from Direct Line Life Insurance reveals that in total, parents of under 18s and their children have received £12 billion in financial support from grandparents since the pandemic began in March. This equates to receiving £2,821 between March and November from the bank of Gran and Grandad.

Before Covid-19, grandparents were giving their children and grandchildren £712.80 on average in combined support every year, meaning over the last eight months alone grandparents have forked out an extra £2,108 to help the younger generations in their family.

The financial impacts of the pandemic have affected millions of families, with a quarter of Britain’s parents of under 18s  (4.3 million) having to ask their own parents for financial support as a direct result of Covid-19. The most common reason for this was due to parents earning a lower salary because of reduced working hours, with 1.6 million parents (38 per cent) naming this as a factor. Nearly 1.2 million parents (27 per cent) said a reduced salary due to a pay cut was a big contributor and 1.1 million (25 per cent) said being put on furlough was the reason.

The study shows that help with essential food items is the main expense grandparents have been helping out with, giving £2.2 billion (£515 per family) since March. A further £2.2 billion (£507) was given for buying children presents and £1.9 billion (£454) for additional childcare items such as school books.


Financial support given by grandparents

Reason Total financial support given by grandparents Financial support per household
Essential food items £2.2 billion £515
Presents for children £2,2 billion £507
Additional childcare essentials e.g. books, school uniform £1.9 billion £454
Non-essentials e.g. entertainment £1.9 billion £453
Essential household bills £1.9 billion £448
Essential children’s items e.g. nappies £1.9 billion £446

Source: Direct Line Life Insurance 2020 Line Life Insurance 2020

Grandparents have offered more than just financial support this year, with 8 million parents of under 18s (47 per cent) having asked for some form of non-financial help from their own parents since the pandemic started. In terms of care, 3.3 million grandparents (20 per cent) were asked to look after their grandchildren. A further 1.7 million (10 per cent) were asked to actually move in to help care for their grandchildren and 1.3 million (seven per cent) were asked if their children and grandchildren could move in with them. Offering emotional support to their children (2.8 million or 17 per cent), emotional support to their grandchildren (2.3 million or 13 per cent) and running errands (2.2 million or 13 per cent) are also common ways grandparents have been helping out throughout the pandemic.

This festive period, parents will be looking for ways to make Christmas as normal as possible for their children. Over 3.8 million parents of under 18s (22 per cent) say they are giving up luxury items to ensure they can buy presents for their children this Christmas. However, 3.5 million (20 per cent) are worried that they won’t be able to afford any presents this year, while 3.1 million (18 per cent) are planning on buying less. The bank of Gran and Grandad is also set to come into use with 2.1 million parents (12 per cent) planning on borrowing money from their parents this year to buy presents. An additional 1.8 million (11 per cent) of these parents are intending to go without essentials in order to afford their children’s Christmas presents.

Chloe Couper, Business Manager at Direct Line Life Insurance, commented: “The impact of the pandemic has affected every family across the country. With people experiencing pay cuts, redundancies and being put on furlough, it is not surprising that many parents have been seeking financial help. Nevertheless, the fact that grandparents have provided a huge £12 billion in financial support to their families since March shows the true scale of the financial difficulties many parents are currently experiencing.

“This year has showed us the importance of having funds saved for unpredictable times. Many people will now be thinking about the future and how they would provide for their family if anything was to happen to them or the family members helping them emotionally and financially. While not always the easiest thing to think about, making sure you have a life insurance policy can help to provide this peace of mind.”

The partnership between Tesco Bank and MoneyGram International, Inc., a global leader in cross-border P2P payments and money transfers, has been further enhanced by the launch of a new, simplified pricing structure for international money transfers.  This is exclusively available in Tesco stores; delivering value to Tesco shoppers and enabling them to quickly and easily send money to loved ones.

The new pricing structure ensures great value on every transaction and offers customers the convenience of transferring money overseas from over 900 Tesco stores to over 200 countries and territories while doing their weekly shop.  Customers will pay a fixed fee based on the value of the transaction, regardless of where the money is being sent.

Customers can also enjoy rewards by collecting 50 Tesco Clubcard Points every time they send £50 or more with MoneyGram in Tesco stores*.

“We are continually evolving our products and propositions to ensure they are more closely aligned to the needs of Tesco shoppers,” said Sigga Sigurdardottir, Chief Customer Officer at Tesco Bank.

“We wanted to provide a cost-effective solution for shoppers who send money abroad on a regular basis, or in times of emergency. The simplified pricing structure offers greater transparency and better value for customers.”

“Delivering the industry’s best customer experience is our company’s top strategic priority, and we’re excited to launch yet another enhancement with Tesco to better serve its incredibly diverse customer base,” said Richard Meredith, Head of Key Partnership UK. “As our consumer-led digital transformation progresses, consumers increasingly value the ease, affordability, and convenience of our services, and we’re excited about how this initiative will continue to drive our positive momentum in the market.”

This announcement is the latest enhancement Tesco Bank has introduced to its international money transfer service. A recently announced online platform allows MoneyGram and Tesco customers to set up transactions online and then pay by cash or card at Tesco stores.

*Applies to every send transaction of £50 or more (including the fee). Show your Clubcard at point of payment. The Clubcard must be in your name and the Clubcard points will be added to your Clubcard Account

A Christmas stocking is the quintessential festive gift and new research from American Express reveals people gifting stockings this year are set to spend an average of £45 on stocking fillers. With over a third (37%) of Brits planning to buy stocking fillers for loved ones this year, this equates to a £873 million spend across the nation on these traditional festive gifts.

Those planning to adorn mantelpieces and bed posts with stockings will gift an average of four stockings each. Nearly three in five (57%) will buy a stocking for their children, 35% will buy for a partner and one in five will buy for a parent (20%).

Top 5 stocking fillers for children (0-17) Top 5 stocking fillers for adults
Chocolate coins


Soft toys


Food or drink




Books / magazines


Beauty products/toiletries

Shop Small

In the spirit of community, nearly a third of Santa’s little helpers (32%) will buy their stocking fillers from local independent stores, and over a half (54%) say it’s because they want to support these shops in this challenging year. Nearly two in five (37%) want to find gifts people won’t have seen elsewhere, and nearly a third (32%) enjoy browsing for inspiration.

Smart shoppers can earn up to £50 in statement credits with the American Express Shop Small offer when they support their local businesses. The offer gives Cardmembers a £5 statement credit when they spend £10 or more in-store at participating businesses. The offer requires enrolment via the Amex app and is valid once per participating location, up to 10 times, until 20 December 2020. View and search for participating UK Shop Small locations by visiting the Shop Small Map.

The feel good factor

Over a quarter (26%) of shoppers will give a stocking for the first time this year. It appears this gift appeals to the savvy consumer, with 20% choosing stockings because they can give smaller, lower cost presents to more people.

Nearly half of shoppers (46%) choose stockings because they are traditional gift, whereas 29% like the ‘feel good’ factor of giving.

Top tips, whether you’re looking to splash out or be savvy with your stocking fillers:

  1. Gifts don’t have to cost the earth – a quarter of Christmas elves (25%) plan to be thrifty and use a stocking they already have. When it comes to gifts, think about giving ‘free’ gifts, like cooking your partner’s favourite meal or offering to do a week of babysitting for your sister.
  2. DIY –13% of our gifters will get crafty and make their own stocking fillers. Check out your local craft store for fun festive materials, or find online recipes for edible treats – from gingerbread fudge to peppermint creams.
  3. Support your local retailers – you can find lovely gifts in places you wouldn’t necessarily expect, visit your newsagent for a kid’s magazine, local café for a bag of beans for the coffee lover in your life, your chemist for bubble bath or perfume and your local deli for tins and jars to treat your favourite foodie.
  4. Good things come in small packages – stockings appeal because you can gift a variety of small, unique presents to loved ones. Children enjoy trying to guess what they will get by the shape and size of the stocking. Play a game together on Christmas Eve to see who can guess the most correctly – winner gets a chocolate coin!
  5. Offers and rewards – as well as the American Express Shop Small Offer, where you can earn a £5 statement credit when you spend £10 or more at participating small businesses, make sure you use a credit card that earns cashback, rewards or points for your spend. Every purchase can count towards something else – a treat for yourself in the new year, or even next year’s Christmas presents!


Telematics car insurance pioneer, and road safety advocate, insurethebox has released data showing that young drivers in the UK are 18% more likely to have an accident in the winter, when compared to the summer months.

The analysis, seemingly prompted by an ongoing trend of accidents rising across the UK in the months following the clocks going back, identifies that drivers in the Midlands are most affected by this seasonal change, with a 25% increase in accident frequency. The area least affected is the capital – London, which sees an 11% rise in accident frequency.


Gary Stewart, Service Manager at insurethebox said: “The role of adverse weather conditions and reduced visibility for larger proportions of the day are key contributors in the increased likelihood of having an accident in the winter. There is a higher risk in the more rural areas of the UK, likely as a result of more portholes and lack of on-street lighting.”

“Although these elements are unavoidable, there are certain things drivers can do to help prevent accidents; we urge everyone to firstly make their car winter-ready and plan journeys ahead in wintry conditions. Inexperienced drivers entering these conditions for the first time should keep in mind longer stopping distances on wet or icy roads and keep their speed down.”

The importance of daylight was also highlighted in previous analysis by the insurance provider, revealing that the period directly following the clocks change (October and November) brings an increase in accident frequency of 31%, between 5pm – 8pm.

insurethebox collects data using telematics, by fitting a black box to a customer’s car, in order to analyse driving behaviour and risk factors. Based on this individual data, insurethebox rewards safe drivers and calculates a personalised renewal for each customer – as well as educates young drivers about common risks.

With an 18% increased likelihood of having an accident in winter, compared to summer months, insurethebox firmly aim their attention at ensuring young drivers are able to navigate the roads in a safe manner.

With an unpredictable festive season upon us, new research has revealed that 2020 is shaping up to give Brits one final, unexpected gift this Christmas: debt.

The research from Tymit, the UK’s first instalment-only credit card, revealed that one in four celebrators (25%) are feeling the pressure to make this Christmas the best ever after a year dominated by the pandemic, with 21% set to spend extra to make this a reality. But with Covid-19 significantly depleting Britain’s savings – 30% have saved less this year and 18% haven’t saved at all – Tymit is urging caution on how the festivities are funded.

According to the research, a worrying two in five celebrators (41%) don’t set themselves a Christmas budget. For those that do, the vast majority are set to go over them (90%), despite only 24% realising ahead of time that they will. When analysing respondents’ pledged versus predicted spend, the research forecasts over £5.8bn of unexpected expenses for Brits this Covid Christmas, which could send them into the red. 

The last-minute nature and uncertainty around Christmas this year has added to budgeting dilemmas, with almost half (47%) of respondents putting off purchasing until Christmas restrictions were clarified by the government last week. And that’s not the only thing throwing budgets to the wind: three in ten have had to change their long held festive plans following the rule of three households announcement, with 17% having to step up unexpectedly to host.

First time hosts face additional costs

According to Tymit’s research, 15% of those that are hosting last minute this year will be doing so for the first time, amounting to a staggering 1.3m Brits. But, while the average spend of hosting is £427, first-timers will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets, as 70% of seasoned hosts admitted that their first time hosting Christmas was their most expensive ever. Buying too much food is the expense that catches out the most (31%) first time hosts, as well as choosing more expensive food and drink (22%), purchasing new tableware (17%) and additional decorations (17%).

So how are we funding this Merry Christmas?

Over a third (34%) of people are turning to credit as an alternative to fund festive spending, including credit cards (18%), overdrafts (7%), loans (5%) and Buy Now Pay Later services (6%). Worryingly, one in eight (14%) of those say they don’t know when they’ll be able to pay it off completely and 15% of those who used credit to fund Christmas last year are still paying this off. 

Martin Magnone, CEO and Co-founder of Tymit said: “Christmas excitement can cause many to forget about financial pressures or regular budgets. With uncertainty around government restrictions leaving many people planning Christmas at the last minute, it’s even easier to ignore. Not thinking carefully about your spending or having unexpected festive expenses could bring forth the Ghost of Christmas past: debt. Entering 2021 without a plan to pay that debt off is the last thing anyone needs after such a challenging year. My advice would be to get spending savvy and proactively manage your costs in order to avoid the red by the time next Christmas comes around. Tymit helps people to lower the compound interest they pay and choose the size of instalments they make, ensuring that if you do spend on a credit card this Christmas, you are clear about when it will be paid off.”

To keep spirits high this Christmas and help Brits manage their festive spending, Tymit has teamed up with Clare Seal, the Instagrammer behind My Frugal Year.

Clare Seal from My Frugal Year commented: “After the year we’ve had, there’s a lot of pressure to make Christmas extra special, and to overcompensate with gift-giving. But Brits need to be savvy with their budgeting, or risk facing a stressful new year at the expense of the festive period. There are numerous ways to have a magical Christmas on a budget, whether it’s making your own gifts or searching for the best deals, and for those that are hit with unexpected expenses, it’s good to get clued up about your credit options. Credit cards shouldn’t be a taboo subject and can be really useful when used correctly, it’s just important to go into any arrangement with your eyes open. As someone who has misused credit in the past, I like that using instalment-only credit options, such as Tymit, gives you full transparency about interest, what you owe and how long it’ll take you to pay it off. Being accountable for your payments and planning ahead are key to not getting stuck with revolving debt.”

To find out more about how Tymit can give you a helping hand this Christmas visit

The ongoing global health crisis, economic downturn and uncertainty over income and job prospects over the last six months has forced 60% of people to tap into their savings to cover day-to-day bills and expenses, according to new research from Fidelity International.

For people in their 20s, this figure rises to 78%. Young people have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic’s disruption to the jobs market, with recent research from the London School of Economics (LSE) showing that one in ten of those aged 16-25 have lost their job.

Fidelity International’s research also found that while a fifth (19%) of adults needed to dip into their savings often, this was also most prevalent among those aged 20-29 years old, with a third (32%) repeatedly relying on their savings. The majority of adults spent this money on basic necessities, including food (40%), household bills (37%) and supporting family members (20%), with people spending an average of £843 from their savings over this six-month period.

Even with the Government’s support measures, four in five workers (81%) who have previously been furloughed admitted they had needed to access their savings over the past six months. More than three-quarters of those who remain furloughed continue to use their savings to support day-to-day spending.

Maike Currie, investment director at Fidelity International commented: “Months of uncertainty have left many households facing very real financial challenges, with little choice but to rely upon their savings to cover the cost of daily essentials. The disruption caused to financial routines will not only have seen them forced to sacrifice savings goals but caused significant stress and anxiety – no-one likes the idea of dipping into their emergency funds.

“If you are in the position of having to rely upon your savings, it’s important to review your overall financial position before you make any decisions. Consider the savings pots you’ve created for your goals, both short-term and long-term, and which are the most essential to your financial future. Goals such as retirement may seem a long way off, but the decisions you make now can affect your plans in the future.”

However, more than a quarter have increased the amount they save over the past six months, setting aside an average of £1,649. Again, younger adults have faced greater a financial challenge here, with those aged 18 to 24 years old saving £1,198 in lockdown. In comparison, savings gains were over £700 higher among those in their 60s, at an average of £1,909.

Maike Currie continued: “For those who have found themselves in a more fortunate position and saved money during the past few months, this could be a good opportunity to strengthen your savings. It’s worth thinking about how you use this to maximum effect for the future.

“For example, putting an extra 1% of your monthly salary into your workplace pension each month can make a real difference in the income you’ll have in retirement. This relatively small sum – which may be equivalent to what you’re saving through lifestyle changes at the moment – will have time to grow and ensure you’re on the right road to achieving your retirement goals.”

New research from Aldermore bank reveals the significant social impact on Brits from the cancellation of major plans in 2020 due to the pandemic. The large scale of refunds means that in total £51.7bn has been received back due to major plans not going ahead.

The most common cancellation for Brits was from holidays, with refunds received from planned holidays abroad totalling £23.1bn, £7.1bn for UK-based holidays, and £6.8bn given back for weekend breaks and trips. Unsurprisingly, due to social distancing measures, the events industry has also been heavily hit, with cancelled sporting events leading to £3.9bn in refunds, cancelled concerts causing £2.3bn in reimbursements and festivals £2.4bn.

Major plans this year that have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak Percentage of Brits that had plans cancelled Percentage that received refunds for cancelled plans Average amount refunded Extrapolated to UK population
A holiday abroad 37% 62% £1,172 £23.1bn
A planned trip/weekend break 29% 52% £445 £6.8bn
A holiday in the UK 27% 56% £494 £7.1bn
Attending a concert 19% 53% £420 £2.3bn
Hosting a party 13% 43% £566 £3.9bn
A sporting event 13% 65% £507 £3.5bn
A festival 9% 59% £500 £2.4bn
Wedding 4% 77% £1,299 £2.5bn

Saving is a top priority with pandemic refunds

Two fifths (38%) of those that have received money back from cancelled events put the whole refund into their savings, with an additional 15% putting at least some of the refund into savings. Over 55s were most focused on saving with half (48%) putting all their refund into their savings, compared to only a third (33%) of 18 to 34 years olds that did so.

Other uses of refunds included putting it towards a holiday abroad next year (15%), for Christmas spending money (13%), for a UK break (12%) or spending it to treat themselves (10%).

Ewan Edwards, director of savings at Aldermore, said: It has been a lost year of many of our best laid plans, and the continuous cancellation and delays to trips and big events in people’s lives has been a deflating experience in 2020. Encouragingly the data shows that many Brits are turning disappointment into opportunity, by putting their refunds into savings for the future. Products like notice period and limited access savings accounts are perfect vehicles for delayed plans. They allow people to put money away at a rate better than easy access accounts, but also provide flexibility so people can get their funds for when that delayed holiday or trip comes around in 2021.”