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Millennial migrant workers driving international money transfers, discovers Xpress Money

  • Two-thirds (60%) of migrant workers reveal they can better financially support their families after moving to the UK
  • Quarter of remittances sent used to pay for bills such as electricity and gas (25%), or to cover healthcare and medical costs (25%)
  • Millennials most generous, sending more on average than those aged between 35 and 54

Despite one in ten migrant workers in the UK having to live away from their children (9%) or spouses (8%), two-thirds (64%) are relieved they can support these family members after moving, reveals Xpress Money, one of the most dependable money transfer brands in the world.

These sacrifices mean that two in three (60%) migrant workers are now able to better provide financial support to their families, through remittances.

Researching 250 migrant workers across the UK, Xpress Money found them to have high confidence in their prospects; three quarters (75%) say they expect to remain in employment in the next two years, and seven in 10 (69%) are confident they will be able to continue sending money to family in the same period. Highlighting the benefits of moving to the UK, two-thirds (66%) agree their annual income is now significantly higher.

Migrant workers are also contributing to the UK, with the majority (62%) of workers’ earnings being fed back into the economy, and a fifth (21%) put into savings. When it comes to spending habits, rent and bills (31%) and food and grocery shopping (24%) make up over half of migrant workers’ expenditure. 

SudheshGiriyan, Chief Operating Officer, Xpress Money, said: “It’s clear that migrant workers in the UK send a significant chunk of their salaries to their loved ones back home, which gets utilized in expenditures related to household and those expenses that help them live a better life. Besides working hard to improve their own lives, the confidence they have in leading long-term and stable employment is helping them support the loved ones they left behind, as well as the UK economy. The money they send home through remittances act as a lifeline for many across the world; providing everything from food and water to electricity and healthcare.” 

What the financial support provides

Remittances have a massive impact on millions across the world. According to the research, 6% of migrant workers moved to the UK solely to financially help their families back home and a significant proportion of the money sent home goes towards much more serious needs such as household expenditures, healthcare and medical costs.

Top three basic needs that remittances from the UK cover

  • Electricity and gas bills (25%)
  • Healthcare and medical costs (25%)
  • Buying food and water (17%)

In fact, while it is spouses and children that migrant workers are leaving behind, the biggest beneficiaries of remittances from the UK are parents (54%), followed by siblings (10%); with spouses (9%), children (9%) and friends (4%) making up the top five. With the support they’re able to provide from the UK, three in 10 (29%) now feel that their families would suffer if they couldn’t send money abroad.

A wealth of remittance options

The availability of remittance services is important for migrant workers to support loved ones, who will have different needs for receiving money. In fact, half (53%) of migrant workers send money home via online transfers, with one in 10 use in-branch bank transfers (13%) and foreign exchange services (11%) to ensure loved ones get the money they need. This is reflected in the receiving countries – almost two-thirds (62%) of money is received in traditional bank accounts, with cash pick-up from banks (13%) and cash pick-up from a local store (10%) rounding out the top three methods.

In fact, two-thirds (66%) of migrant workers send up to £199 on average a month – with millennials appearing to be the most generous, sending on average, £16 more than those aged between 35 and 54 (£202 vs £186).

“Providing as many options as possible for services which enable instant transfers across the world is crucial for migrant workers. The UK’s historic infrastructure and innovation means it has the ability to provide many ways to do so, through remittance firms, online and in-branch transfers and foreign exchange houses. Of course, the impact of migration and remittances goes beyond putting food on the table. Remittances have a big role to play in helping to drive GDP growth and consumption within receiving countries, which in turn create new opportunities and wealth globally,” concluded Giriyan.