first direct: Finances are last taboo

25 October 2006
According to online bank first direct, financial issues and problems are the "last remaining social taboo" among family and friends.

Fewer than a quarter (22 per cent) of Britons admitted to speaking to their best friends about money troubles, while over half (53 per cent) said they felt comfortable discussing their love lives.

The study also revealed that Londoners were the most open when it came to discussing money, although by the same token they were also the least likely to discuss other problems, like health and families, as well as their love lives.

Television psychologist Mo Shapiro said: "Some people feel that they are defined by their financial situation - it decides their social status. Admitting to money problems can feel like an admission of failure to run your life properly and not being in control.

"But it also takes a lot of energy to hide problems and often just discussing them can makes them seem less frightening.

"Concerns can be managed positively once they are out in the open but the first step is admitting to the problem - then it's possible to look for support and take action," Ms Shapiro added.

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