17 Oct 2016 02:00pm

More young women insolvent than men

Women made up the majority of insolvencies among under-25s and under-35s in the UK last year, according to research by Moore Stephens
Caption: UK's gender pay gap making more women go insolvent, says Moore Stephens

Almost two-thirds (65%) of personal insolvencies among under-25s and 57% of insolvencies among 25-34 year olds for the year ended 31 December 2015 were women, the research found.

Moore Stephens suggested that the UK’s gender pay gap could be contributing to the number of women going insolvent.

While women in the UK earn, on average, 18% less than their make counterparts, they still face the same, or often higher expenses.

“Whilst fewer women are becoming insolvent overall as unemployment and interest rates stay low, they are making up a markedly higher percentage of insolvencies than men," Jeremy Willmont, head of Restructuring and Insolvency at Moore Stephens said.

“With lower wages and higher expenses, some young women are more likely to find themselves insolvent than young men,” he added.

Moore Stephens also highlighted that women are far more frequently targeted by luxury brands selling expensive designer goods than men.

The firm suggested that this increases pressure on women and results in higher levels of spending on consumer good than men.

“Women are also a particular target for payday lenders, who have been criticised in the past for encouraging women to take out high interest loans in order to pay for luxuries they otherwise couldn’t afford,” Willmont said.

However, Willmont added that these figures could even up in the future as more lifestyle products are marketed at young men.

Moore Stephens also drew on recent ONS figures which showed that one in three young men live at home, compared to just one in five young women.

The firm suggested that young women therefore spend more on accommodation than young men, as they are less likely to live at home with their parents.

The research also highlighted that young women have been much more exposed to the rapid inflation in house prices and rents over the last decade than young men have.

“Rental and house price inflation has been particularly aggressive over the last few years. As young women are more likely to rent than young men, they are seeing ever greater chunks of their income swallowed up by accommodation costs,” Willmont added.

Last year, rents rose 18% in Bristol and Brighton, 16% in Newcastle and Edinburgh, and 11% in London, while house prices rose 8.1% in the year to the end of May 2016, Moore Stephens’ research revealed.

Sinead Moore


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