The Financial Lives Survey is a robust large-scale quantitative survey, conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority, which establishes, from all respondents, levels of product ownership, in retail banking, retail investment, savings, credit including mortgages, general insurance and protection, and pension products. It also establishes the level of use of regulated financial advice (advice incidence) and has a section covering assets and debts. Random probability selection rules then allocate each respondent to a single question set about one product area (such as retail banking or first charge mortgages) based on their product holdings, or about advice. In a small number of cases a respondent will not be eligible for any of these main product modules.
There are 2 datasets available:
- The anonymised individual responses from the Financial Lives Survey exercises that were carried out in 2022 The full data includes approximately 19,000 individual level records from across the UK.
- A combined file of anonymised responses from the 2017, 2020 and 2022 surveys for those variables that can be tracked from wave to wave.
About the Financial Lives Survey
The Financial Lives Survey uses random probability sampling to recruit respondents to a largely online survey, with a smaller number of interviews conducted over the phone, in order to include in the sample those without internet access and to increase the number of participants aged 70 and over. More details and full report can be found here: https://www.fca.org.uk/publications/research/financial-lives
Demographic data included in at least the 2022 file includes racial/ethnic origin, long-term health problems, sexual orientation, and what government benefits the participant is in receipt of.
For a full description of the content and methodology, please see the technical report: https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/financial-lives/financial-lives-survey-2022-technical-report.pdf
Each available dataset (2022 and combined 2017, 2020, 2022) contains two data files, a metadata file (codebook), and a questionnaire reference guide to match up labels and values. A data user guide is also available to instruct users on how use the data:
- labels/captions data file - Individual responses (full text version) - each field (response part) is delimited. Some fields contain multiple responses, these are sub-delimited. Please note that many of the records are very long.
- codes data file - A copy of the above, but using number codes instead, this is more compact to manage and process but requires a lookup file to convert to full text.
- codebook – a description of each data variable including data label, response code and response labels
- questionnaire reference sheets - A lookup file to interpret the number codes.
- data user guide - A guide to the dataset and instruction on applying weights.
The data is microdata (individual responses) - there is no aggregated data. The FCA website does included aggregated forms of this data, see https://www.fca.org.uk/financial-lives-survey/resources-library
The first field in each data file is a unique identifier. While these are individual records, no personally identifying data is included. There are 9 files included in total: (4 data files (CSV format), 2 "codebook" datamaps/references (XLSX format), 2 questionnaire reference sheets (XLSX format) and 1 user guide (DOCX format)). The largest data file is 726MB. The files are delivered in a 115MB zip file.
2017, 2020, 2022
Data and Resources
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January 2017 to December 2022
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