Look Towards A New Future

Aug 11, 2010

Uncertain Times for the European Consumer: Financial choices under pressure now available at ReportsandReports

Dallas, TX: ReportsandReports announce it will carry Uncertain Times for the European Consumer: Financial choices under pressure Market Research Report in its Store.

Browse complete Uncertain Times for the European Consumer: Financial choices under pressure Report

Turbulent economic conditions in Europe have exposed consumers to uncertainty as to what the future holds. This has important implications for financial services (FS) providers and their client interactions.


  • The report discusses the economic events influencing the European consumer and the likely effects on their product and provider choices
  • Extensive secondary research allows detailed analysis as to the opportunities presented by the recovering European consumer.


The recently established Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) has estimated that the UK national debt will peak at 70.3% of GDP in 201314, reduced as a result of the cuts made in the recent budget.

Cash-strapped governments will be limited in the support that they can offer. It therefore rests on consumers to seek private means to protect themselves and FS providers to convince consumers of the gravity of this need.

European consumers will continue to seek to minimize uncertainty in 2010 through tighter control on what they can influence. They are attempting to increase their knowledge and understanding but FS providers must meet them halfway.

Reasons to Purchase

  • Understand the economic uncertainty and drivers of policy impacting the European market.
  • Understand how these events will influence the decision making of consumers, now and in the future.
  • The report provides insight into the opportunities presented by the changing European climate for FS providers

Table of Content





Table of Contents

Table of figures

Table of tables

Uncertain Economic Climate


TREND: National debt will limit future economic growth in Europe

The European debt situation is a serious threat to a global recovery

The Greek debt situation threatened to boil over into a full blown crisis at the beginning of 2010

A major component of the Greek debt threat was the risk of contagion with other major economies

The rescue package has relieved many market concerns but comes at a cost

Some economists believe that the threat to the eurozone is not yet over

Returning debt to manageable levels will be a lengthy and potentially painful process

The magnitude of public debt is higher than that which could be solved by economic growth alone

The impact on growth is somewhat ambiguous but the cuts will still be felt by consumers

TREND: Monetary policy will be tightened as inflationary pressure increases

Consumers have seen record lows in central bank interest rates but this will change as the recovery gains pace

Expectations of inflation may well rise if monetary policy is mistimed

Monetary policy in the UK provides a particular challenge, with rising inflation expectations and a fragile recovery

Monetary policy surprises may well reveal vulnerabilities in the EU banking sector

There remains sizeable variation in the finances and economies of European countries

The UK must be careful not to ignite inflation in a still weak economic recovery

France looks to 2011 before freezing public sector spending

Germany’s finances are in better shape than its neighbors’ but action is still needed

Italy aims to bring its mammoth national debt under control and currently retains the market’s confidence

The Netherlands will see its public finances stagnate in 2010 before strengthening in 2011, depending on the political balance of power

Spanish unemployment is nearing one in five and is not set to improve until 2011

Sweden suffered a tough recession but is set to recover quickly, with a relatively light fiscal burden


The uncertain climate will create opportunities for FS consumers

INSIGHT: Confused consumers will need guidance, particularly in a changing savings and investments landscape

The savings and investment environment will be in flux as savings accounts move in sync with central bank rates and incentives change to align with new tax regimes

ACTION POINT: Better access to advice should be a priority for both the public and private sector

INSIGHT: Consumers must be made to understand that bank lending will remain constrained

INSIGHT: Mortgage competition could heat up as consumers reconsider the value of their standard variable rates

ACTION POINT: Uncapped SVRs are coming into more use as mortgage lenders protect themselves from future low interest rate regimes

INSIGHT: Pensions providers must stress the importance of private pension income

Consumers need to be made aware that they are responsible for looking after themselves in retirement

ACTION POINT: Pension provision must be simplified to make a clear solution apparent to consumers

INSIGHT: European consumers will seek simple products that protect them against potential risks in these uncertain times

Consumer watchdogs which expose complicated superfluous products will encourage consumers to stick to what they know

ACTION POINT: Product presentation has never been more important as consumers are not willing to invest significant time in understanding the prospective offerings

Scarcity of information can dissuade the jittery European consumer

INSIGHT: Insurance providers should step into the gap left by a depleted state presence

Income protection and mortgage payment protection could provide consumers with a support structure should the worst occur

Private health insurance products may appeal as waiting times are likely to increase with government cuts beginning in earnest

Healthcare cash plans could be an attractive outlet for increased concern over medical provision

ACTION POINT: The importance of ‘taking care of yourself’ must be highlighted



Further reading

Secondary sources

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