Home / Numbers / The True Story of Debt in the UK

The True Story of Debt in the UK

Want to know the true story of debt in the UK?  Well, here's a few stats and facts:

The Story of UK Debt Q4 2010

Just to emphasise a few of these numbers:

  • Total personal debt in the UK is running at £1.45 trillion (that's £1,454,000,000,000) 
  • Individuals owe more in personal debt than the country's annual output
  • As a country we owe more in personal debt than we produce in economic output as a whole.
  • The average UK household debt is £57,706 
  • The average UK adult on a debt management plan (e.g. seriously in schtuk) owes £29,875  
  • The average UK adult on a debt management plan has unsecured debts of £17,857, with 19% owing more than £30,000
  • The average household pays over £2,582 in interest every year
  • 46% of personal debt is on Credit Cards
  • 372 people a day are declared insolvent or bankrupt, or one person every four minutes
  • There are 7.9 million cash withdrawals every day, with a value of £530 million
  • £2.73 is saved by the average person every day



Thanks to Money, Debt and Credit for this infographic and stats information on the true story of UK debt.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

Check Also

We still need bank branches

For many years we have had discussions about bank branches and a branchless future. I …

  • Interesting and revealing set of statistics. They could be made even more instructive if they included data on who holds the debt, as well as who is doing the lending and holding the wealth assets.
    The U.K. is now experiencing an accelerating drive towards gross and unjustified inequality in income and wealth owership across its society. Even though the Blair Brown Governments put immense effort into reducing inequality, they succeeded only very partially and inequality had started to grow more evidently again under Brown’s stewardship.
    Research across the globe, such as the Spirit Level et al indicate that advanced societies with the greatest levels of inequality, suffer disproportionately in terms of mental illness and other stress-induced major illnesses. Recent developments in Egypt and Libya warn us that when societies reach great inequalities those societies cannot be held together and governed, even with the deployment of the full panoply of repression, torture and force.
    The decimation of core essential public services in the UK is about to test the acceptable limits of inequality and the population’s ability and willingness to endure this scenario. This will especially be the case as the lower, and middle, middle classes suffer disproportionate depredations on real income and wealth.

  • D Wiatzka

    The UK (and other countries, for that matter, including us here in Canada) would be well served to adopt a more U.S. style approach to personal bankruptcy.
    It would encourage better lending practices and better facilitate the recovery of individuals from untenable debt circumstances.

  • tonyw

    How about looking at things from a wealth point of view? Let’s take the US which some think is rapidly becoming a banana republic:
    “It’s the Inequality, Stupid”

  • tonyw

    Edward, “They could be made even more instructive if they included data on who holds the debt…” it reminds me of that Winston Churchill quote: Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
    As i’m doing quotes:-)
    “Gold is the money of kings, silver is the money of gentlemen, barter is the money of peasants – but debt is the money of slaves.”
    When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain. – Napoleon Bonaparte
    This year the state and local debt in the US will reach a level unmatched since WW2 and already exceeds the size of the entire economy. The US debt levels tumbled in the years after WW2, but today they are climbing, consumers are up to their limit with debt and manufacturing is declining.