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Parents pressured to overspend

European survey of consumers shows influence of social media

Parents are bowing to social pressure, spending more money on their children than they can afford, according to the latest European Consumer Payment Report from Intrum.

The 2017 report found almost a third of UK parents (31%) have experienced social pressure to buy something for their children that they feel they couldn’t afford during the past year. Most of them (96%) have acted on that pressure and bought something as a result.

Of those UK parents experiencing social pressure to spend, 18% said they have bought a car for their child. This is higher than elsewhere in Europe, where the average was 9% citing a car as the item they have felt pressured into buying.

Intrum, the pan-European credit management firm, surveyed 24,401 consumers from across Europe, including 1,044 in the UK, for its annual consumer payment report. This year the report focuses on the driving forces behind consumer overspending.

“Our analysis demonstrates how social pressure can result in unsound, long-term indebtedness. With the many options for credit that exist today, and the social pressure people report, we need to do more to create trust and teach every new generation how to spend responsibly,” says Mikael Ericson, CEO and President of Intrum.

The report reveals not only that a third of all parents feel exposed to social pressure to overspend, but that young parents (aged 18 to 34) are especially vulnerable. More than half (53%) of this group reported feeling social pressure to overspend on their children.

Social media plays a key role in creating this pressure, not only for parents and young people. Almost a third (30%) of Brits of all ages agree that social media creates a pressure to consume more than they should. 

Related to the question of overspending, there is clear evidence that credit consumption is rising. Intrum has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people who feel it buying on credit is acceptable. Over a third (37%) of Brits now think it is acceptable to buy goods such as TVs or computers on credit, up from (27%) two years ago and 32% in 2016.

“Credit is an important part of a functioning society, but we need to ensure it works well for all. Our analysis shows consumers are vulnerable to overspending and social pressure to spend,” concludes Mikael Ericson, CEO and President of Intrum.

About the European Consumer Payment Report 2017

The survey collected responses from 24,401 respondents between the ages of 18-65, in 24 European countries. Questions concerned household finances and the survey was conducted during September 2017.

For copies of the full UK and European Consumer Payment Reports, plus analysis of the driving forces behind consumer overspending, visit:

 For more information contact:

 1st Credit:

Heather Greig-Smith, 07946 609928,

Lizzie Singer, 07442 505 353,

 About 1st Credit

1st Credit is a leading UK debt purchase and collection company working with customers to agree payment plans that suit their individual circumstances.

The company is well known for taking an ethical approach to debt collection – in particular for treating customers fairly. It is the only debt purchase company to have achieved the maximum rating in the independent Investor in Customers (IIC) assessment for four consecutive years.

1st Credit has won a string of awards for its approach, including a Customer Experience Award, plus Best Conduct and Compliance Culture and Best Customer Service awards at the 2017 independent Credit Strategy Collections & Customer Service Awards – the seventh time it has won the industry’s compliance award. 1st Credit is a registered firm of the Lending Standards Board and is the first business of its kind to achieve an ISO standard for dealing with vulnerability.

In February 2017, 1st Credit was purchased by European Credit Management Group Intrum.

About Intrum

Intrum is the industry-leading provider of Credit Management Services with a presence in 23 markets in Europe. Intrum helps companies prosper by offering solutions designed to improve cash flows and long-term profitability and by caring for their customers. Ensuring that individuals and companies get the support they need to become free from debt is an important part of the company’s mission.

Intrum has more than 8,000 dedicated and empathetic professionals who serve more than 100,000 companies across Europe. In the 12 months ending March 2017, pro-forma revenues amounted to SEK 12.9 billion. Intrum is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden and the Intrum share is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange.

For further information, please visit