United Kingdom generational banking report

Illustration of a woman talking to a banker

82% of UK adults prefer in-person banking experiences

Commissioned by UserTesting and conducted by OnePoll, the study also revealed that when it comes to finances and banking, people across all generations prefer a human touch—82% of UK residents said they prefer using a traditional bank for their financial needs.

Less than a fifth of UK residents (16%) said they “strictly” use traditional banks, ditching digital-only completely — including 27% of the silent generation and 22% of baby boomers. In comparison, only 15% said they’d rather just use a digital bank with no physical presence, and 66% said they use both traditional and digital banks.

People who prefer traditional banks said they like speaking with a human (43%), and 35% like having a physical place to go. 

“We’re seeing a strange dichotomy in banking unfolding in front of us,” said Dana Bishop, VP of Experience Research Strategy at UserTesting. “We know physical banking branches are closing in droves, yet the data here support that consumers, especially in younger generations, crave the benefits that traditional banks provide. Digital banking platforms should consider this when implementing new services to meet these more human-oriented banking needs.”

While many said they prefer traditional banks, 55% said they still trust digital wallets and mobile banking apps – most popular amongst the more middle-aged generations (64% of Gen X and 60% of baby boomers) and least popular for the silent generation (38%).

Only three in 10 prefer to conduct a money transfer as the most popular way of sending money back and forth, and 77% transfer money up to five times per month. 22% admitted they’re more likely to spend frivolously using digital payment options.

Seven in 10 digital bank users wished their banks offered some of the perks traditional banks already have—such as the 27% of them that wish digital banks offered the ability to talk to humans for customer support, and 23% wish their banks had better card perks or rewards.

Out of all the respondents surveyed, the silent generation preferred talking to humans the most (57%), followed closely by the baby boomers (51%), and compared to millennials (30%), which had the least interest in speaking with humans.

“In reality, there’s still an open space for hybrid institutions to exist,” continued Bishop. “Both digital and traditional banking platforms have their exclusive benefits, but there is a clear want and need for institutions to exist in both physical and digital worlds, providing the shared perks either can offer.”

Hear first-hand what UK participants have to say.

Top 3 monthly budget spends per generation

Woman with short blonde hair and glasses using finger to type on tablet

Gen Z

  1. Groceries: 48%
  2. Rent or mortgage: 35%
  3. Utilities: 29%

3 business professionals looking at a computer


  1. Rent or mortgage: 56%
  2. Groceries: 52%
  3. Utilities: 48%

3 business professionals looking at a laptop

Gen X

  1. Utilities: 66%
  2. Groceries: 64%
  3. Rent or mortgage: 50%

3 business professionals talking

Baby Boomer

  1. Groceries: 66%
  2. Utilities: 58%
  3. Rent or mortgage: 28%

Image of a woman showing another woman something on a tablet

Silent gen

  1. Groceries: 74%%
  2. Utilities: 59%
  3. Credit card debt: 16%

A poll of 1,000 UK adults found that 61% said their grocery costs are eating up most of their monthly budget, followed by utility bills (52%) and rent or mortgage (37%).

The UK's oldest and youngest residents are spending the most on groceries

Prices for food and non-alcoholic drinks have been rising at the fastest rate in 45 years in the UK, according to the most recent cost of living latest insights by the UK’s Office of National Statistics.

This survey highlights that for the older generations across the United Kingdom, 74% of the silent generation and 66% of baby boomers account for groceries as the highest expenditure in their respective budgets. Similarly, Gen Z’s highest spending is on groceries at 48%. Meanwhile, 6 in 10 Gen X residents state groceries are their second-highest budgetary item after utilities.

56% of millennials claim rent or mortgage as their highest budget item. Utilities are also high for other UK residents, including 59% of the silent generation listing utilities as their second most expensive budgetary item, and the same holds for 58% of baby boomers.  
Hear first-hand what UK participants have to say.

Survey methodology

UserTesting commissioned this random double-opt-in survey of 1,000 UK residents with bank accounts between March 3 and April 3, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).