Two sources of research on generations of consumers provide food for thought for community finance providers such as credit unions. There are some valuable insights in how to design services for and engage effectively with these groups of members and consumers.

Younger people:a ‘Millennials and Money’ project from Common Vision (covi) seeks to understand millennial money habits, financial trust and what younger generations need to become more financially resilient. covi defines millennials as between 20 and 37 years old. covi is a London-based think tank that seeks to “build bridges between generations, between business and society and within places and communities”. The research is starting to become available here (scroll down to the reports). Topics covered so far include: attitudes to saving, Fintech and ‘fake news’ (if you are not sure why the latter is relevant, this is about trust).

Older mothers: A new study from the University of Manchester looks at how precarious employment, low pay, the increased pension age and real-term reductions in welfare benefits are causing increasing numbers of mothers to fall into long-term debt. The research is titled Mothers in Debt – Shame, Abuse and Resilience, and is based on figures from the Office for National Statistics and in-depth interviews. The study found that separated or divorced mothers aged 55 and over were more likely to have significantly worse financial problems than fathers of the same age.