• Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Revealed: The North East is the second most financially savvy region in the UK

  •   Scots are the most financially clued up in the UK, with people in the North East ranking second
  •   North Easterners are most likely to learn about money by teaching themselves
  •   Only 1% of North East residents were taught about finances at school, which is fewer than the number who learned about money from Facebook (2%)

With the cost of living crisis proving to be a major concern across the UK and nearly two fifths (38%) of Brits agreeing that ‘financial matters confuse them’, many of us are looking for ways to improve our financial savviness.¹ But how much do we actually understand about money and where are we getting this information from?

Research from Virgin Money* reveals the regions in the UK which are the most financially knowledgeable, as well as the most popular sources of financial education for each region and the least understood money-related terms.

The study asked 2,006 Brits if they understood a series of common current account, mortgage, savings and debt-related terms – including language like direct debits, arrears and APR.

The most financially knowledgeable regions in the UK:

  1. Scotland
  2. North East
  3. East Anglia
  4. North West
  5. South East
  6. Yorkshire
  7. Wales
  8. East Midlands
  9. London
  10. Northern Ireland
  11. South West
  12. West Midlands

Scotland came out on top, with almost three-quarters (73%) of survey respondents reporting a good understanding of financial lingo. Perhaps most surprisingly, the financial capital of the UK, London came in ninth position, with Londoners only understanding 67% of the terms.

The top 10 most misunderstood financial terms in the North East (% who don’t understand)

  1. Accrual rate – 60%
  2. Additional permitted subscription – 59%
  3. Annual equivalent rate – 53%
  4. Assumed interest rate – 53%
  5. Compound interest – 47%
  6. Annual percentage yield – 47%
  7. Annuity – 44%
  8. Auto-enrolment -43%
  9. Tracker mortgage – 41%
  10. Bond – 41%

With such a variation in knowledge, where do North Easterners get their financial information?

The most popular method is for people to teach themselves, with over a quarter (26%) saying they are self-taught in financial matters. More than one in four (27%) said they learned about financial matters through various forms of media, with online news articles (10%), Instagram (5%) and newspapers (4%) being the most popular methods.

In comparison, only 1% of North East residents said they were taught about finances in school, which is the same number as those who learned about money from TikTok. Over a tenth (11%) were taught by their parents, and 9% learned about money through a financial advisor.

Fergus Murphy, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Virgin Money, said: “These are challenging times and many of us are feeling the pinch. While lots of us want to become more financially savvy, we also know that financial freedom starts with education. Our research highlights where the knowledge gaps are and, importantly, where work is needed to help Brits become more confident with their money.

“We hope that these findings reassure people that they aren’t alone in finding the world of finance confusing and that our online jargon buster will be a starting point for people looking to learn more.”

Head to the Virgin Money website to learn more about some commonly used financial terms, starting with those you are likely to come across when looking at current accounts: Seven misunderstood financial terms broken down | Brighter Money | Virgin Money UK


Survey of 2,006 general UK consumers carried out by Censuswide on behalf of Virgin Money. Responses collected 09/06/2022 – 13/06/2022.

Additional research on financial beliefs was sourced from YouGov.


1 https://yougov.co.uk/ (Statements about finance)