Study reveals social mobility booming in Pakistan

  • As many as 79pc affluent consumers believe they are in a better financial position than their parents

KARACHI: The Standard Chartered Bank (SCB-Pak) has conducted a study on ‘Emerging Affluent Consumers’ in eleven countries including Pakistan, in which it found that nearly two-thirds or 64 per cent of emerging affluent consumers in Pakistan are experiencing upward social mobility while 11 per cent are enjoying ‘supercharged’ social mobility.

The Emerging Affluent Study 2018 – climbing the prosperity ladder – examines the views of 11,000 emerging affluent consumers- individuals who are earning enough to save and invest – from 11 markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Commenting on the study, SCB Retail Banking Head Syed Mujtaba Abbas said, “Ambitious consumers are on an upward social trajectory; they are surpassing their parents’ success in education, careers and home ownership. As their ambitions and aspirations grow, they are demanding convenient financial services and digital technology to broaden their access to money management and advance their financial wellbeing. It is an exciting journey where they are not only improving their own lives, but they are also fuelling growth in some of the world’s most exciting markets.”

According to the study, the average figure for social mobility among the emerging affluent consumers across the markets is 59 per cent, and of these 7 per cent are experiencing supercharged social mobility.

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Pakistan’s socially mobile consumers, as identified by the study, have had impressive earnings growth, with almost half (44 per cent) enjoying a salary increase of 10 per cent or more in the past year, and more than a third (34 per cent) seeing their earning jump by 50 per cent or more in the past five years.

In Pakistan, the socially mobile people are also better educated and achieving higher levels of employment and homeownership than their parents. As many as 89 per cent went to universities, compared to 66 per cent of their fathers and less than half (49 per cent) of their mothers, while 83 per cent are in a management position or running their own businesses compared to 65 per cent of their fathers and 28 per cent of their mothers. Similarly, as many as 88 per cent of the socially mobile people own their own home, compared to 81 per cent of their parents at the same age.

Levels of optimism among the emerging affluent in Pakistan are even higher than reality, with 79 per cent believing they are in a better financial position than their parents compared to the 64 per cent in the study that are actually socially mobile.

More than two-thirds (70 per cent) of the emerging affluent in Pakistan say their familiarity with digital tools have been vital to their personal success, while 73 per cent say online banking makes them feel that they have more control over their money and investments, and 67 per cent say digital money management has helped them get closer to achieving their financial goals.

Pakistan’s emerging affluent is comfortable going online for financial advice, with the majority (60 per cent) saying they would invest in financial products online if an on-demand adviser was available. Risk is not a problem for the emerging affluent if strong rewards are possible 58 per cent would accept a high level of risk for a high level of return when investing their money in online financial products.

 

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