Nation’s financial well-being in ‘critical state’

The research found that women are more fearful of a money meltdown - 60% - as opposed to 44% of men.

And when it comes to age range, income levels and location, those most nervous about maintaining their cash flow are aged between 40 and 49 (59%), earning between £10,000 and £20,000 (60%) and living in Scotland and Northern Ireland (65%).

Alexander Burgess, director at British Money, said: “Our findings illustrate what a critical state the nation’s financial well-being is in; around half or more of people with income levels up to £40,000 concede they’ll be harsh repercussions if they miss a month’s salary and 33% of those earning £40K or more are equally concerned about the consequences.

“What’s more worrying is that people between 40 and 59, who should be preparing for and looking forward to their retirement, appear to have fewer savings to rely on than any other age group.

“I yet again call upon financial services providers to help ease the nation’s financial woes. At the very least lenders should automatically include mortgage protection with their mortgage offer.

“This gives peace of mind that mortgage repayments will continue if a salary is interrupted due to unemployment, accident and sickness.”

Martin Bysh, founder of market research firm Usurv which carried out the research for British Money, added: “This survey highlights that no matter what you earn, how old you are or where you live, spiralling debts are a major concern.

“It’s vital financial services providers’ help people tackle these issues and lower these statistics.”