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Press Release 4 Mar 2004

Brits borrow their way to a better body

Forget home improvement loans, the new improvement trend is self, with many Brits prepared to borrow big bucks to enhance their bodies.

New research from Abbey reveals:

- Of those surveyed, nearly one in ten would consider going under the surgeon’s knife or have already done so; and of those, women outnumber men by nearly three to one (14% compared with 5%)

- Of the respondents considering cosmetic surgery, more than a quarter (27 %) would borrow to fund a better body, and they’d borrow an average of £4,156.The men surveyed are prepared to borrow more than women for cosmetic surgery and claim they would borrow up to £4,190. Their female counterparts would borrow just £3,900.

- Of the operations considered, the top choice for women taking part in the study would be breast surgery (58 per cent) – for which they’d need to find £5,750.

- Male respondents considering cosmetic work are most likely to opt for a nose job (30 per cent), at a cost of £4,500.

- Both sexes, however, are keen to fight the flab. The survey reveals that liposuction is the second most popular procedure for both sexes. A quarter (25 per cent) of the men and a third (33 per cent) of women considering plastic surgery would go for liposuction, costing £4,450.

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The Abbey research proves that living on credit is now a fact of life, with nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of respondents admitting they would happily borrow up to £20,000 without losing a wink of sleep.

Angus Porter, Abbey’s Customer Director, said: "We are borrowing more today than ever before, but we have more control over our finances than past generations. We live in a 'have it all' society and people are more comfortable about borrowing to achieve what they want, rather than only doing so when they feel there is no other option.

“But rather than just taking the first credit card on offer, or worrying about tiny differences in rates, we're trying to help people get the right advice so they can borrow properly. Our 'Managing Your Borrowing' service looks at the most appropriate way for each person to borrow money - from loans to credit cards, overdrafts to mortgages - it's all about matching the customers needs and circumstances to the right type of borrowing.”

Beauty is in the hands of the surgeon

Of those surveyed, the image-conscious Welsh and those from the Midlands would borrow the most to fund their plastic surgery – an average of £4,420 – compared to satisfied Scots who would seek to borrow just £3,930.

The research: Abbey commissioned this survey through YouGov Research between 6th – 10th February 2004. Responses from 1,878 UK adults (aged 18 and above) who have had or are considering having plastic surgery were analysed from an overall sample base of 21,397.

Procedure

Cost (£)

Face/neck lift

£7,750

Breast reduction

£6,000

Breast augmentation (breast implants/enlargement)

£5,500

Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)

£5,200

Rhinoplasty (nose surgery)

£4,500

Liposuction (major)

£4,450

Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)

£4,000

Brow lift

£2,500

Otoplasty (ear surgery)

£2,500

Liposuction (minor)

£2,000

Average cost per cosmetic surgery procedure (source: BUPA)


Regional Breakdown: What respondents are prepared to borrow for cosmetic surgery
Region Average amount respondents would borrow to have cosmetic surgery (£)
1. Midlands & Wales 4,420.25
2. London 4,261.78
3. North 4,150.22
4. South (excluding London) 4,100.20
5. Scotland 3,930.18

i This figure has been reached by taking the number of respondents from the survey who answered that they had undergone or would consider plastic surgery (1,878) and calculating the percentage of this by the total sample size (21,397). (1,878/21,397 x 100 per cent = 8.8 per cent).

ii This figure has been reached by taking the number of female respondents from the survey who answered that they had undergone or would consider plastic surgery (1,269) and calculating the percentage of this against total female sample size (8,946). Which is 1,269/8,946 X 100 per cent = 14 per cent.

iii This figure has been reached by taking the number of male respondents from the survey who answered that they had undergone or would consider plastic surgery (609) and calculating the percentage of this against total male sample size (12,451). Which is 609/12,451 X 100 per cent = 4.8 per cent.

iv 27 per cent of the 1,878 respondents who had undergone or would consider plastic surgery said they would borrow money to fund such surgery.

v Respondents were asked to state how much they would borrow from a series of money bands. From here, the mean average has been calculated.

vi The average borrowing fee for both sexes has been calculated as respondents were asked to state how much they would borrow from a series of money bands. From here, the mean average has calculated.

vii The percentage of women who would consider breast surgery has been achieved by adding together the female responses of the sample size who have undergone or would consider plastic surgery (1,878) who were considering the following operations: Breast Augmentation, Mastopexy, Reduction Mammoplasty. The costs for the different types of breast operation were sourced from BUPA.

viii 30 per cent of male respondents have undergone or would consider plastic surgery (1,878) answered that they were considering a nose job. Costs for these different types of surgery have been sourced through from BUPA.

ix 25 per cent of male respondents and 33 per cent of female respondents of the sample size who have undergone or would consider plastic surgery (1,878) admitted they were considering liposuction.

x The cost of this surgery has been sourced from BUPA.

xi 24 per cent of the sample size who have undergone or would consider plastic surgery (1,878) answered that they would consider borrowing up to £20,000 before beginning to worry.

xii The average borrowing fees for each region has been calculated by asking respondents how much they would borrow from a series of money bands. From here, the mean average has been calculated.

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