We are the FCA’s principal Statistical Consultants on their framework agreement and acted as statistical and methodological advisers on Wave 2 of the Financial Lives Survey, the FCA’s flagship survey of UK consumers. The survey provides a wealth of information about consumers’ attitudes towards managing their money, the financial products they have and their experiences of engaging with financial services firms. The survey uses a complex stratified random probability sampling design and a mixed mode (online and in-home two stage clustering) methodology.

Our role encompassed:

  • Reviewing Wave 1 of the survey and making recommendations to the FLS project team for potential changes to the design
  • Being technical consultant on the tender boards for selecting the research suppliers, asking probing questions about the proposed sampling and statistical methodology
  • Acting as a bridge between the FCA and statistical teams at the research suppliers (predominately Natcen, but also Ipsos-MORI)
  • Supporting the agency statistical teams through: trouble-shooting, acting as sounding board, reviewing work and making additional suggestions
  • Keeping the FCA team informed of key statistical decisions using digestible, accessible communication
  • Monitoring and managing the progress of key statistical milestones, such as the process of modularising the questionnaire, sampling and weighting
  • Reviewing and input into technical documentation


As well as this principal role, we also inputted into the design of the FCA’s published Covid 19 panel survey (managed by Critical Research) as well as several other Financial Lives follow-up surveys for internal use. On all of these surveys we acted as principal contractor for developing survey weighting and authored stand-alone technical reports.

Financial Lives Survey 2020

Financial Lives Survey 2020 Technical Report