Mental Health in the UK Finance Industry Fact Sheet: Official Press Release

Over one third of organizations in the UK finance industry say mental health not a cultural priority, despite COVID-fueled surge in demand from staff

Koa Health
Publish Date

June 2nd 2021, London: Koa Health, a digital mental healthcare provider offering integrated and evidence-based solutions to employers, today shares data exposing the impact of COVID-19 on mental health in the finance industry across the UK and organizations’ response to the crisis.

According to a survey of over 500 HR Managers in companies of 250+ employees, at the onset of COVID-19, almost nine in ten (86%) organizations in the UK finance industry experienced an increase (1) in demand for mental health support. This increase was higher than any other sector investigated, and 30% points higher than the UK average (56%).

Since COVID-19, 80% of organizations in the finance industry increased (2) the level of mental health support, while more than half (55%) of HR Managers in finance spent, on average, an extra 11-20 hours more each month on mental health support for employees, compared to before the pandemic. Further, over the next year, over three quarters (77%) of organizations in the finance industry plan to increase the level of mental health support they provide, compared with the UK average of only two thirds (66%).

Despite increasing demand and mental health support provision, mental health and wellbeing is still not fully embedded into business culture. Over one third (36%) of companies in the UK finance industry agree (3) that culturally mental health is not a priority within their organization.

The Koa Health report, Wellbeing at Work, also found:

  • Only 27% of HR managers in the finance industry agree (3) that they expect the majority of employees to remain predominantly working from home for the next year, compared to the UK average of 46%
  • Almost two fifths (39%) of HR managers in the finance industry agree (3) that it’s harder to know if an employee’s wellbeing is good when working remotely, compared to the UK average of 49%
  • Over a third (36%) of HR Managers in the finance industry agree (3) that remote working has made it easier for an employee’s mental health to ‘fall through the cracks’, well below the UK average of 51%
  • Organizations in the finance industry are less likely to tailor mental health support to both the companies and employee unique needs, with less than one in five (18%) of those whose companies offer their employees mental health support/ tools offering personalized solutions to company and employees, compared to UK average of just under one in four (24%).

Dr. Oliver Harrison, CEO of Koa Health, said HR Managers in the finance industry have taken promising early steps to protect the mental wellbeing of their employees. However, it is concerning that with such a high demand for additional support, many financial services organizations still do not see mental health as a cultural priority at their organization. As UK employees consider returning to the office, the finance industry must continue to build on the progress it has made in response to the pandemic.”

For more information on any of the findings, you can download Koa Health’s Wellbeing at Work report here.

Notes to editor

1.This finding combines respondents who said ‘Substantial increase’ or ‘Some increase’.

2.This finding combines respondents who said ‘Substantially increased’ or ‘Somewhat increased’.

3.This finding combines respondents who said ‘Strongly agree’ or ‘Somewhat agree’.

Research Methodology

This survey was conducted by Censuswide, among a sample of 504 HR Managers in the UK in companies of 250+ employees, with 5% from companies of 4,000+ employees. Fieldwork was carried out between 1st March – 9th March 2021. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

About Koa Health

Koa Health is the only digital mental healthcare provider that offers integrated mental health solutions, from improving wellbeing to supporting treatment for a range of common mental disorders. Koa Health’s solutions are personalized services with proven user outcomes. Backed by investors including Telefónica, Ancora Finance Group and Wellington Partners, Koa Health leverages technology and research to enable people to change their behaviors with effective and accessible support that adapts to their unique circumstances. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Koa Health has operations in Barcelona, the US and the UK. Koa partners with leading clinicians and academics including Massachusetts General Hospital, University College of London, the London School of Economics, Birmingham and the Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

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