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UK Price Comparison Sites in Financial Services Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Price Comparison Sites in Financial Services 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 and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Scope of this Report

This Report looks at consumers’ use of price comparison websites when looking to research or arrange financial services products, specifically:

  • Car insurance
  • Home buildings and/or contents insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Pet insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Current accounts
  • Savings accounts/Cash ISAs
  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages
  • Personal loans
  • Travel money

Mintel’s consumer research analyses the factors that impact consumers’ choice of price comparison website and looks at what types of information they would like to see appear within search filters. The Report also discusses consumer behaviour in relation to price comparison websites and investigates which new features and services aggregators could offer in order to meet consumer demand.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Paul Davies, a leading analyst in the Leisure, Foodservice, Travel & B2B Research sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Price comparison sites have struggled to emulate the success they have had within insurance in other financial markets. Now that regulators are looking to reduce the barriers to switching in the retail banking industry, aggregators should consider ways in which they can adapt to suit markets where many people are influenced as much by service as they are by price or rates. Paul Davies
Head of Leisure, Foodservice, Travel & B2B Research

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Scope of this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Lack of loyalty towards insurance providers leads consumers to PCWs…
              • …but other financial markets see far less movement
                • Figure 1: Switching activity of financial services product holders, December 2015, September 2016 (home insurance) and November 2016 (car insurance)
              • Companies and brands
                • The big four dominate the PCW market
                  • Figure 2: Price comparison website usage in the last 12 months, July 2017
                • Leading players struggle to establish a point of difference
                  • Figure 3: Attitudes, by price comparison website brand, July 2017
                • The consumer
                  • Car and home insurance the most searched for…
                    • …whilst few turn to PCWs to compare other financial products
                      • Figure 4: Financial products researched through a price comparison website, July 2017
                    • Consumers favour familiarity
                      • Figure 5: Factors that influence consumers’ choice of price comparison websites, July 2017
                    • Customer service could become a key comparison metric
                      • Figure 6: Information that consumers would like to appear within a price comparison search, July 2017
                    • Nearly three in four users compare comparison sites
                      • Figure 7: Price comparison behaviours, July 2017
                    • Interest in pro-active price comparison tools
                      • Figure 8: Interest in features/services that could be offered by price comparison websites, July 2017
                    • What we think
                    • Issues and Insights

                      • PCWs could evolve in to PFMs
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Breaking out of insurance
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                  • Lack of loyalty towards insurance providers leads consumers to PCWs…
                                    • …but other financial markets see far less movement
                                      • Open Banking offers promise for PCWs….
                                        • ….and presents new challenges
                                          • CMA investigation rules in favour of PCWs
                                          • Market Environment

                                            • Lack of loyalty towards insurance providers leads consumers to PCWs…
                                              • …but other financial markets see far less movement
                                                • Figure 9: Switching activity of financial services product holders, December 2015, September 2016 (home insurance) and November 2016 (car insurance)
                                              • New regulations aim to improve competition in retail banking
                                                • Figure 10: Open Banking incentives, June 2017
                                              • Open Banking offers promise for PCWs….
                                                • ….and presents new challenges
                                                  • CMA investigation rules in favour of PCWs
                                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                    • The big four dominate the PCW market
                                                      • Comparethemarket rewards loyalty
                                                        • Confused goes big with TV campaign
                                                          • MoneySuperMarket looks to boost loyalty
                                                            • Zoopla acquires Money.co.uk
                                                              • Leading players struggle to obtain a point of difference
                                                              • Market Share

                                                                • The big four dominate the PCW market
                                                                  • Figure 11: Price comparison website usage in the last 12 months, July 2017
                                                                • Over half of PCW users use multiple sites
                                                                    • Figure 12: Repertoire of price comparison websites used in the last 12 months, July 2017
                                                                  • Loyalty scheme allows CTM to stand out
                                                                  • Competitive Strategies

                                                                    • Comparethemarket (BGL Group)
                                                                      • Financial performance
                                                                        • Recent activity and strategic developments
                                                                          • Loyalty incentives
                                                                            • Confused.com (Admiral Group)
                                                                              • Financial performance
                                                                                • Recent activity and strategic developments
                                                                                  • GoCompare.com Group
                                                                                    • Financial performance
                                                                                      • Recent activity and strategic developments
                                                                                        • MoneySuperMarket Group
                                                                                          • Financial performance
                                                                                            • Recent activity and strategic developments
                                                                                              • Zoopla Property Group (ZPG)
                                                                                              • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                • PCWs invest in ATL campaigns to remain ‘front of mind’
                                                                                                    • Figure 13: Above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by price comparison sites on financial services, 2012/13-2016/17*
                                                                                                  • Confused.com tripled its adspend in 2016/17
                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by price comparison sites on financial services, by advertiser, 2014/15-2016/17*
                                                                                                  • TV accounts for two thirds of total expenditure
                                                                                                    • Figure 15: Above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by price comparison sites on financial services, by media type, 2016/17*
                                                                                                  • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                  • Brand Research

                                                                                                      • What you need to know
                                                                                                        • Brand map
                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Attitudes towards and usage of selected price comparison website brands, July 2017
                                                                                                        • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Key metrics for selected brands, July 2017
                                                                                                        • Brand attitudes: Comparethemarket stands out from the crowd
                                                                                                          • Figure 18: Attitudes, by price comparison website brand, July 2017
                                                                                                        • Brand personality: Fun advertising boosts image of PCWs
                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Brand personality – Macro image, July 2017
                                                                                                        • Leading PCWs seen as helpful and reliable
                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Brand personality – Micro image, July 2017
                                                                                                        • Brand analysis
                                                                                                          • Comparethemarket.com buoyed by meerkat promotions
                                                                                                            • Figure 21: User profile of Comparethemarket.com, July 2017
                                                                                                          • MoneySuperMarket.com is highly trusted
                                                                                                            • Figure 22: User profile of MoneySuperMarket.com, July 2017
                                                                                                          • GoCompare.com viewed positively but lacks a point of difference
                                                                                                            • Figure 23: User profile of GoCompare.com, July 2017
                                                                                                          • uSwitch.com sees usage levels lag behind the big four
                                                                                                            • Figure 24: User profile of uSwitch.com, July 2017
                                                                                                          • Confused.com seen as less fun and vibrant than its main rivals
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: User profile of Confused.com, July 2017
                                                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                          • Car and home insurance the most searched for…
                                                                                                            • …whilst few turn to PCWs to compare other financial products
                                                                                                              • Insurance leads the way on the conversion front
                                                                                                                • Customer service could become a key comparison metric
                                                                                                                  • Nearly three in four users compare comparison sites
                                                                                                                    • Interest in pro-active price comparison tools
                                                                                                                    • Product Research and Purchase Activity

                                                                                                                      • Car and home insurance the most searched for…
                                                                                                                        • …whilst few turn to PCWs to compare other financial products
                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Financial products researched through a price comparison website, July 2017
                                                                                                                        • Nearly two fifths of PCW users have arranged car insurance
                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Financial products purchased/arranged through a price comparison website, July 2017
                                                                                                                        • Insurance leads the way on the conversion front
                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Conversion ratios, by financial services product, July 2017
                                                                                                                          • One in five researched four or more products
                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Repertoire of financial products researched or purchased/arranged through a price comparison website, July 2017
                                                                                                                          • MSE’s editorial expertise encourages people to switch a broader range of products
                                                                                                                          • Factors That Influence Choice of PCWs

                                                                                                                            • Consumers favour familiarity
                                                                                                                              • More reason for loyalty schemes?
                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Factors that influence consumers’ choice of price comparison websites, July 2017
                                                                                                                              • A quarter of 18-24s are influenced by search engine results
                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Factors that influence consumers’ choice of price comparison websites, by age group, July 2017
                                                                                                                            • Interest in Additional Search Filters

                                                                                                                              • Customer service could become a key comparison metric
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Information that consumers would like to appear within a price comparison search, July 2017
                                                                                                                                • Young people want to compare providers’ digital services
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Interest in seeing range of online/mobile services within a price comparison search, by age group, July 2017
                                                                                                                              • Price Comparison Behaviours

                                                                                                                                • Nearly three in four users compare comparison sites
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Price comparison behaviours, July 2017
                                                                                                                                • Millennials are the mobile generation
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Proportion of consumers who say they have used a smartphone to access price comparison sites, by generation, July 2017
                                                                                                                                • Interest in Price Comparison Features

                                                                                                                                  • Interest in pro-active price comparison tools
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Interest in features/services that could be offered by price comparison websites, July 2017
                                                                                                                                    • PCWs could evolve into PFMs
                                                                                                                                      • Data security is paramount
                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                            • Consumer research methodology