Nationwide has issued a warning to UK households.

The UK's biggest building society has found more than half of people (52 per cent) believe January is the time of year that causes the most financial stress.

A survey - conducted by Nationwide - suggested that eight in 10 (84 per cent) people expected this January to be the hardest yet financially.

It also found this week was expected to be particularly tough, as people waited for their end-of-month pay packet.

More than half of people (51 per cent) blamed Christmas spending as a result of January being a tough month. And more than two-fifths (43 per cent) highlighted energy costs as a factor.

Added debt due to the increased cost of living was a significant issue for more than a third (37 per cent) of people.

More than 51 per cent of people said they would rather seek any assistance they needed in person than online.

Mandy Beech, director of retail services at Nationwide, said: "Because we still believe in face-to-face service and we have listened to our customers, we have committed to keeping all our branches open until at least 2026.

"We also have a branch manager in every branch, since for many there is no substitute for physical reassurance."

"There is no substitute for physical reassurance"

Censuswide surveyed more than 2,000 people across the UK in December 2023. Nationwide launched new interest rates for ISAs and fixed-rate bonds earlier this month.

The rates are available for balances of £1 or more and savers can open the Online Bonds via the website, Internet Bank and Banking app while Fixed Rate Branch Bonds can be opened in branch.

Nationwide’s Fixed Rate ISAs accept transfers and can be opened via the website, Internet Bank, Banking app or branch.

All previous Fixed Rate Online Bonds, Branch Bonds and ISAs, including the three and five-year products, were withdrawn from sale at the close of business on 11 January 2024.