Edinburgh Tops UK Cities for Financial Confidence, Study Finds

Edinburgh, Cambridge, and London have been crowned the UK’s most financially confident cities, according to a study commissioned by Moneybox. Residents of the Scottish capital feel the most capable in areas such as saving, investing, retirement planning, and money management overall, with Cambridge closely trailing behind. Despite being home to the most confident investors in the UK (43%), London ranks third in overall financial confidence, with Brighton & Hove and Norwich completing the top five.

Not far behind, Southampton, Sheffield, Bristol, Leeds, and Leicester residents display high levels of financial confidence, while Liverpool was found to be the least financially confident city. It fell just below Belfast, Newcastle, Glasgow, and Plymouth.

The study, which surveyed 4,000 UK adults, revealed a strong correlation between financial confidence and net worth. Residents who consider themselves financially confident, regardless of income, have nearly double the net worth of those with low levels of financial confidence. On average, these financially savvy individuals have amassed a net worth of £145,000 (excluding properties), encompassing savings, investments, and pension contributions. This is compared to just £78,000 among those less financially confident.

Interestingly, the research also showed that the most significant contributing factor to higher levels of financial confidence appears to be time spent learning about money matters. Brian Byrnes, head of personal finance at Moneybox, emphasized the importance of financial education: “When it comes to making the most of your money, building financial confidence can be a real game changer to ensure you are equipped to make the most of all your financial opportunities in life.”

“Our research has shown that one of the most important things a person can do to improve their financial situation is simply spending time getting to grips with personal finance topics. This simple step, which we can all choose to take, can have a notable positive impact.”

“Whether you spend 30 minutes a week reviewing your budget, researching the best financial products for your needs, or making a plan to help you achieve an important financial goal – time spent on your finances is critical in boosting your financial confidence, and therefore, your financial position over time.”

The study, conducted by OnePoll, also found that only 20% of Brits regularly spend time learning about personal finance topics. Four in 10 spend a little time improving their knowledge on personal finance matters. Concerningly, just three in 10 consistently make and follow a budget. Among all those surveyed, only 14% had ever paid for professional financial advice.

When it comes to saving, Cambridge and Brighton & Hove stood out as the most confident, while Belfast and Liverpool struggled most in this category. Despite ranking 16th on the financial confidence index, Belfast matched London in having the greatest number of residents that feel confident investing (43%). By comparison, in Glasgow and Newcastle, only a quarter of the population feel the same way.

Manchester residents are the most self-assured in their ability to plan for a comfortable retirement at 57% of the population, closely followed by Birmingham, Leeds, and Edinburgh. Liverpool (42%), Southampton (44%), and Plymouth (44%) are the least confident in their preparations for retirement.

Brian Byrnes added: “Financial education, both in school and throughout adulthood, has been severely lacking in the UK, which has meant that many are left to figure out how to manage their money and plan for the future through trial and error.”

“The financial services industry has evolved a lot in recent years, and providers have a host of information and tools available to help guide and support people as they learn how to achieve their financial goals and build wealth for the future.”

“However, without a doubt, more needs to be done, by the government, regulators, and the industry as a whole, to close the advice gap and help boost the nation’s financial confidence and long-term financial resilience.”

Here are the top 10 cities ranked from most to least financially confident:

1. Edinburgh
2. Cambridge
3. London
4. Brighton & Hove
5. Norwich
6. Southampton
7. Sheffield
8. Bristol
9. Leeds
10. Leicester

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