A new report by UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has stated that rural people are less likely to use online banking and prefer going to the branch to avail financial services.
The report, Financial Lives, surveyed more than 13,000 adults to identify and assess how people in the UK utilise financial services.
It found that in the rural areas, despite greater reliance on bank branches, around 13% of adult population above 55 years of age and people with long-term health condition experience significant difficulty in getting to a bank, compared to 9% in urban regions.
Around 70% of all UK adults who never use the internet live in rural areas.
The penetration of mobile banking service is also substantially lower in the rural regions. Compared to 45% in urban areas, only 23% of the population take up mobile banking in rural regions.
The report also stated that the concentration of adults with high-cost loans is higher in urban areas (7%) than in rural locations (5%).
Average unsecured debt of adults living in urban regions is £3,600, which is £2,510 in rural areas.
Around 27% of adult respondents in rural areas said they are highly satisfied with overall financial circumstances, compared with 20% of adults in urban locations.
Further, nearly 13% of the adult population in the UK have no savings.
Around 17% of people in the North West and 16% in the North East have no savings, while the ratio stands at 9% and 10% for the regions of South East and South West respectively.
FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey said: “This survey shows just how different the experience of financial services is for consumers across the country.
“That’s important for us, as we shape financial services policy. But it is also important for firms, as they decide how best to serve their customers.”