While 2009 will be remembered as the year in which consumers tried to tighten their belts, research by comparison site Gocompare.com has found that nearly 20 million UK consumers haven't yet switched providers for everyday financial services and utilities.
The research also found that 1 in 5 Britons at the beginning of 2010 were still seriously worried about their finances, and 1 in 4 said they urgently need to make savings.
Some 37.4% of UK consumers cited bills and the rising cost of living as being likely to be their biggest financial worry in 2010. But, despite a clear need to save money, the research found that there are still millions of people who are yet to discover the benefit of switching providers. For example:
- 22.7% had switched their car insurance provider in 2009
- 19% had switched their home insurance provider in 2009
- 20.6% had switched their energy provider in 2009
- 18.9% had switched their mobile phone tariff in 2009
- 10.6% had switched a credit card balance in 2009
- 14.4% had switched broadband provider in 2009
According to Ofcom there are 76 million mobile phone subscriptions in the UK, far exceeding the country's total population count. In 2009 only 18.9% of consumers switched their mobile phone tariff, and Gocompare.com estimates that millions of consumers could save money by moving to a different tariff.
According to the Bank of England, in January 2009 the UK's overall credit card debt was approximately 53 billion, of which 72.5% was interest-bearing. But during 2009 only 10.6% of consumers switched their credit card balances for a better interest rate.
According to Lee Griffin, business development director for Gocompare.com, "Comparison web sites make it easy to compare products and services and, while lots of people have become committed comparers and switchers, our research showed that millions of consumers could benefit from checking out the competition."