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UK Financial Services: The Path to Purchase Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Financial Services: The Path to Purchase market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report explores the product research and purchase journey across a number of retail banking and insurance markets. It includes discussion of trends and recent changes in how people find and arrange finance products. Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at purchase activity over the last three years, the reasons for arranging products, sources of information used for research, including the first point of contact, and how people arrange each product. Finally, the report discusses consumer attitudes towards the purchase journey, including satisfaction and approach to choosing providers.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Richard Shepherd, a leading analyst in the Financial Service sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Consumers show a strong satisfaction with the product research and purchase options on offer in financial services. The transition from branches to online channels has been profound in most markets. Consumers now not only express a belief in needing to use online research channels to find the best deal, but also express a preference for them Richard Shepherd
Senior Financial Services Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Executive Summary

        • The market
          • Open Banking and new insurance models arrive to disrupt distribution
            • The consumer
              • 45% have arranged car or home insurance in the last three years
                • Figure 1: Products switched/arranged in the last three years, March 2019
              • People are more likely to be attracted by a good deal than pushed by bad service
                • Figure 2: Prompts to consider switching/arranging new retail banking products, March 2019
              • Price comparison sites dominate insurance research
                • Figure 3: Sources of information used to research financial services products, March 2019
              • Arranging financial services products is an online pursuit
                • Figure 4: Methods used to purchase financial services products, March 2019
              • People are happy with the purchase process
                • Figure 5: Attitudes towards the financial services path to purchase, March 2019
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • Apps are yet to take a central role but personal loans show the way
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Consumers have moved on from branches for account opening
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Technological excellence may be the only way forward for challengers
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Advisers can use the mortgage process to introduce other services
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                        • Distribution disruption - Open Banking arrives…
                                          • …and new insurance models emerge
                                          • Product Research and Purchasing in Context

                                            • Major brands roll out Open Banking services
                                              • Saga and Aviva look to shake up general insurance terms
                                                • Current account switching has declined since the launch of CASS
                                                  • Figure 6: Annual volume of current account switches, 2014-18
                                                • Comparethemarket is the most popular aggregator
                                                  • Figure 7: Price comparison sites used for researching financial services products in the last 12 months, September 2018
                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                • 45% have arranged car or home insurance in the last three years
                                                  • People are more likely to be attracted by a good deal than pushed by bad service
                                                    • Price comparison sites dominate insurance research
                                                      • Arranging financial services products is an online pursuit
                                                        • People are happy with the purchase process
                                                          • Challengers face an uphill struggle
                                                          • Product Buying Activity

                                                            • General insurance remains the most transient finance sector…
                                                              • Figure 8: Products switched/arranged in the last three years, March 2019
                                                            • …especially among older groups
                                                                • Figure 9: Insurance products switched/arranged in the last three years, by generation, March 2019
                                                              • Current account switching remains limited
                                                                  • Figure 10: Retail banking products switched/arranged in the last three years, by generation, March 2019
                                                              • Prompts to Purchase

                                                                • Product quality is key
                                                                  • Figure 11: Prompts to consider switching/arranging new retail banking products, March 2019
                                                                • Younger consumers are primed to benefit most from Open Banking
                                                                  • Figure 12: Selected prompts to consider switching/arranging new retail banking products, by age, March 2019
                                                                • Online notifications most likely to succeed in promoting personal loans
                                                                  • Figure 13: Prompts to consider switching/arranging new retail banking products, by retail banking products switched/arranged in the last three years, March 2019
                                                                • Brand building offers the highest advertising value
                                                                • Product Research

                                                                  • Price comparison sites dominate insurance research…
                                                                    • Figure 14: Sources of information used to research financial services products, March 2019
                                                                  • …and have a growing influence in credit markets
                                                                    • Savings comparison is restricted by the low rates on offer
                                                                      • Figure 15: Use of price comparison sites to research savings accounts when arranging one in the last three years, by household income, March 2019
                                                                    • Mortgages can be a gateway to professional advice
                                                                    • First Point of Contact

                                                                      • Price comparison sites serve as a starting point in most markets
                                                                        • Figure 16: Source of information first used to research financial services products, March 2019
                                                                      • Branches are falling from favour
                                                                      • Purchase Methods

                                                                        • Arranging financial services products is an online pursuit
                                                                          • Figure 17: Methods used to purchase financial services products, March 2019
                                                                        • Personal loans leading the way for mobile product applications
                                                                        • The Path to Purchase

                                                                          • Most consumers stick to one source of information
                                                                            • Figure 18: Number of sources of information used to research financial services products, by type of product arranged, March 2019
                                                                          • People tend to use the same channel throughout the purchase journey
                                                                            • Four fifths of online researchers follow up with an online purchase…
                                                                              • Figure 19: Current account purchase method, by first source of information used, March 2019
                                                                            • …while those who start research offline are more likely to change channel on the way
                                                                              • Figure 20: Savings account purchase method, by first source of information used, March 2019
                                                                              • Figure 21: Credit card purchase method, by first source of information used, March 2019
                                                                            • Call centres are still valuable sales channels in general insurance
                                                                              • Figure 22: Car insurance purchase method, by first source of information used, March 2019
                                                                              • Figure 23: Home insurance purchase method, by first source of information used, March 2019
                                                                          • Attitudes towards Product Research and Purchase

                                                                            • People are happy with the purchase process…
                                                                              • Figure 24: Attitudes towards the financial services path to purchase, March 2019
                                                                            • …but are split on their approach and openness to assistance
                                                                              • Online channels are valued and preferred
                                                                                • Figure 25: Agreement with attitudes towards online product research, by household income, March 2019
                                                                            • Attitudes towards Choice of Product Providers

                                                                              • Half would rather keep all products in the same place
                                                                                • Figure 26: Attitudes towards choosing financial services providers, March 2019
                                                                              • Challengers face an uphill struggle
                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                    • Consumer research methodology