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Brexit: value of the pound tops post-vote fears

Poll reveals concerns of Remainers and Brexiteers

Three quarters of Which? members said they were concerned about the value of the pound

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.

Find out more: Brexit hub – get the latest Which? news, advice and tweets

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.

Brexit: people concerned about...
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%

Click here for the full results table


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.

Brexit: people likely to...
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%
Savings/investments 26%
Socialising/eating out 25%
Home improvements (not including buying a house) 21%
Television and online entertainment subscriptions (e.g. Sky, Netflix, Amazon etc.) 18%

Click here for the full results table


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%.

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