A new survey has revealed that 40% of UK adults are keeping secrets from loved ones about products such as credit cards, loans and savings. People are actually most likely to keep their financial affairs secret from their partner, who might have been thought of as the person closest to them.

The survey suggests that, in total, 21 million financial products are being kept secret.

59% of the millennial generation, defined here as those in the 25-34 age group, admitted to keeping a financial matter secret. Just 26% of over 65s said they were keeping a similar secret.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, people were most likely to want to keep their debts secret. Across all age groups, 37% said they had concealed the existence of credit cards and 23% had not admitted to having a personal loan. Where millennials said that they were keeping financial secrets, 40% said they were not disclosing that they had a credit card, 31% were not mentioning a personal loan and 23% were hiding an overdraft.

Partners generally underestimate the extent to which they are being kept in the dark. 45% of the respondents who were in a relationship had an undisclosed financial product, but only 23% of people in relationships suspected their partner was keeping a secret.

Around 30% of those in relationships said their partner was unaware how much they earned.

However, a number of survey respondents also said that opening up to their partner about their financial worries had been of benefit, as they had then been able to work together to find mutually agreeable solutions.

5,225 UK adults were surveyed by research agency Opinium during October 2020. The survey was carried out on behalf of the Money and Pensions Service for its annual Talk Money Week. This ran from November 9 to 13 and is an initiative designed to get consumers having conversations about financial issues.

Sarah Porretta, Strategy and Insights Director at the Money and Pensions Service said:

“We know there are numerous reasons why people keep money secrets from those closest to them; a secret savings account could act as a buffer for those who want to escape a difficult relationship; an unpaid bill could be kept under wraps in order to protect anxious family members. For many who keep money secrets, it can be a feeling of shame or embarrassment that debts have spiralled out of control.

“Yet we also know that many people will be struggling with money worries due to the financial impact of Covid-19, so if you feel this is getting on top of you, having a conversation with someone – a friend, family member or expert – can bring a different perspective and allow you to feel more in control as a result. Opening up is a valuable start to making problems more manageable, for the benefit of our health, relationships and overall wellbeing.”

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed by Scott Robert and as such are not updated. Please be aware of the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article