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Close to one fifth of households in Switzerland behind on debt payments

 © Kawee Srital On | Dreamstime.com

In 2017, 18.9% of Switzerland’s population lived in a household with outstanding debt repayments, a percentage that has rose from 17.7% over the proceeding 4 years.

The most common forms of outstanding debts were taxes, health insurance premiums and phone bills. 9.9% of households had outstanding tax payments, 7.3% owed health insurance money and 5.2% had an outstanding telecommunications bill.

The most common reason for going into debt was to buy a car, a rapidly depreciating asset. 23.3% of the population had car debts in 2017, more than the 15.7% who had borrowed money to buy a home.

The most likely people to be in a household with debt payment arrears were the poorly educated (26.3%), the unemployed (43.7%) and households with one parent (36%).

There was a difference between men (19.4%) and women (18.4%) and a big difference between German (15.7%), French (27.3%) and Italian speakers (21.8%).

There were also marked differences between foreigners. Those from northern Europe (14.2%) were far less likely to be in a household with an outstanding debt payment than those from southern Europe (27.9%) and those from the rest of the world (37.8%). Swiss (15.8%) were more likely to be in a household with outstanding payments than foreigners from northern Europe.

The age group the least likely to have outstanding payments was those 65 and over (5.8%), and the most likely age group was 18-24 (27%).

More of Switzerland’s population is borrowing. In 2013, 31.8% of the population lived in a household with at least one form of debt. By 2017, the same percentage had risen to 34.6%.

Impulse buying could be one factor behind the growing number of people with unmanageable debts. 10% of 18-24 year olds admitted to impulse buying compared to 3.8% of those 65 and above. This percentage was noticeably high among single parent families with young children (12%). Impulse buying also correlated with regional differences. 10% of those 16 and above in French-speaking Switzerland admitted to impulse buying compared to 4.5% of the same group in German-speaking Switzerland.

Full story here
About Investec
Investec
Investec is a distinctive Specialist Bank and Asset Manager. We provide a diverse range of financial products and services to a niche client base in three principal markets, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia, as well as certain other geographies. Investec’s strategic goals are motivated by the desire to develop an efficient and integrated business on an international scale through the active pursuit of clearly established core competencies in the group’s principal business areas.
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