Millions of Brits don’t trust their partner to make financial decisions

One in four secretly check their partner’s bank statements - 9.7 million Brits in a relationship have lied to their other half about money* - New Experian guide offers help with money & relationships

1st February 2017 – LONDON: Many relationships begin when cupid strikes, however financial infidelity - such as lying to a partner about spending, savings or debt - is increasingly common among British couples. In fact, 1 in 4 admits that they keep tabs on their partner’s spending by secretly checking their bank statements without their knowledge, that’s according to new Valentine’s Day research by Experian.

Moreover, a quarter (28%) of those in a relationship say they have lied to their partner about spending money, whilst more than one in four (26%) would not trust their partner to make any financial decisions for the both of them. It’s hardly surprising then, that of those who check their partner’s monthly expenditure, over half (53%) admitted to doing so on a regular basis.

When it comes to our own finances, 21 per cent say their partner is not fully aware of the amount of savings they have, and one in 10 (10%) have not been open about their debt. But our heart strings are still strung tightly, as 60 per cent would not break up with their current partner if they found out they had lied to them about money.

Many Brits will use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to take their relationship to the next level, such as moving in together or getting engaged. Financial association often comes with these romantic ties so even if your relationship comes to an end your finances may still be linked.

Experian’s James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs comments: “It can be difficult to talk openly and honestly about money when you’re in a relationship, but what many don’t realise is how quickly you can become financially linked with a partner. Any joint credit commitments – from utility bills to bank accounts, loans and mortgages – are likely to create a financial association on both of your credit reports. This links up your reports and could therefore impact how either of you are viewed by a lender when you next apply for credit.”

While sense of humour remains the number one attraction when we first meet someone (73%), Experian’s research found that financial responsibility becomes more important to people, as their relationships develop; trumping career ambitions (20%), religious beliefs (14%) and good dress sense (29%).

Two in five (40%) said financial responsibility is one of the top five qualities that attracts them to their partner, today, but just half of this figure (19%) looked for this when they first met.

Millennials are apparently more interested in the financial security offered by a would-be partner, compared to Generation X. A quarter (25%) of Millennials said their partner’s financial responsibility attracted them to their current partner, compared to just 14% of Generation X.

Experian has created a guide to help people understand money and relationships.


* 9.7 million figure calculated using ONS mid-2015 GB adults population estimates based on Experian survey findings. GB population was firstly split by those in a relationship as found by Experian and then calculated using he percentage of those that have lied to their partner about their debt, savings or how much they have spent.

By Millennials we mean those aged 18 – 34 and Generation X are those aged 35 – 54

Notes to editors:

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2088 adults, of which 1433 are in a relationship. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th - 13th January 2017.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).


Priya Sahib

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Julianne Parry

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About Experian

Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments – from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers – we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organisations to prevent identity fraud and crime. 

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