The value of the pound is the biggest post-Brexit concern among Which? members, according to a new survey.
We asked 1,834 Which? members in July whether they were concerned about various consumer issues, following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
Three in four said they were either ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about the value of the pound.
The value of their pension came next highest, with 71% expressing concern about it, while 68% were concerned about the value of their savings.
The price of groceries, and losing the use of the European Health Insurance Card (both 63%) were also key concerns.
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Huge difference between Remainers and Brexiteers
The graph below shows the differences in attitudes between those who said they voted to remain in the EU and those who said they voted to leave.
|Main concerns among Which? members overall|
|Issue||% of members who are concerned|
|The value of the pound||75%|
|The value of my pension||71%|
|The value of my savings||68%|
|European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) no longer being valid||63%|
|The price of food and groceries||63%|
Concerns were relatively consistent across various age groups, although those aged under 45 were noticeably more concerned about the value of the pound, as well as the impact on mortgages, groceries and possible employment changes.
Planning to cut back
We also asked whether members would change their spending habits as a result of the vote to leave.
Some 28% of members said they were planning to cut back on big-ticket household purchases, while 25% said they’d put less into savings and investments and 25% are planning to cut back on socialising and eating out.
Running a car (24%), groceries (21%) and energy (21%) were the areas where members believed they were likely to increase spending – although, once again, there was a notable difference in attitudes depending on how members said they had voted in the referendum.
|Where are Which? members planning to cut back overall?|
|Area of spending||% of members planning to decrease spending|
|Big ticket purchases (e.g. new television, washing machine)||28%|
|Home improvements (not including buying a house)||21%|
|Television and online entertainment subscriptions (e.g. Sky, Netflix, Amazon etc.)||18%|
Which? Consumer Insight Tracker survey
A separate survey of the general public – part of the regular Which? Consumer Insight Tracker – shows a dramatic rise in concern about the Sterling exchange rate after the EU referendum.
In the May 2016 Tracker survey, just 31% said they were worried about the exchange rate. This grew to 57% in July’s survey.
The proportion of those worried about their house price falling moved from 22% before the vote, up to 30% after it; while the number planning to put less into their savings over the next 12 months grew from 18% to 23%.