Three quarters of UK adults have had major plans cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic

24 Nov, 2020

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.”