The Old Mutual Group has today launched the first ever Old Mutual Financial Services Monitor (OMFSM), a study that provides comprehensive insights into the Kenyan financial landscape.

The OMFSM is designed to offer a holistic understanding of the broader financial behaviour of Kenyans. It aims to empower the community to make informed decisions.

Among its key findings are that close to half of Kenyan consumers are considerably financially stressed with only 1 in 10 earning more now than they did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the study showed that, 59% of Kenyans allocate their monthly income to living expenses, surpassing the Africa average of 51%.

The report highlights Kenyans’ top financial priorities as income security, expense reduction, and debt repayment. The study revealed a notable prevalence of debt in the country, where almost 7 in 10 consumers have a personal loan of some form, higher than that in the other markets surveyed across the continent (Ghana, Namibia, and South Africa).

Meanwhile, over 50% of Kenyans own micro businesses, and 22% are polyjobbers, a term that refers to those earning extra income alongside their regular jobs, showcasing a robust hustling spirit.

When it comes to retirement, currently only 26% of respondents indicated that they are actively saving for retirement (which is lowest amongst the markets surveyed), and nearly 90% of Kenyans lack confidence in having sufficient retirement savings. Instead, many rely on the hope that their children will provide support in old age, with only a small percentage expecting government assistance.

Overall, amidst a recessionary environment, Kenyan economic confidence is at 16%, lower than South Africa (27%), Namibia (24%), and on par with Ghana (17%).

“At Old Mutual, we believe that knowledge is the cornerstone of financial empowerment. The Old Mutual Financial Services Monitor will serve as a reliable annual indicator of Kenyan financial behaviour, enabling us to create customized financial wellness journeys for our customers as their needs evolve,” said Arthur Oginga, the Group CEO of Old Mutual East Africa.

“After analysing the consumer financial attitudes and behaviours of Kenyans, the necessity for comprehensive financial wellness support is evident, covering day-to-day expenses, debt and income management, and long-term savings. This is a role that Old Mutual already plays, but will ramp up to equip more families with the relevant tools to thrive.”