Consumer attitudes to credit and borrowing have changed dramatically in the past few years, according to Standard Life.
Research by the company found that borrowing is most common among people between 20 and 50 years old, while strong pressures on young consumers are forcing them to borrow more.
In addition, many people see housing equity as a solution to debt problems, while others see debt consolidation and insolvency as an "easy way" out of difficult financial issues.
Standard Life Bank's chief executive, Anne Gunther, said: "We are not only seeing people trying to 'keep up with the Joneses' but also aspiring to a lifestyle more akin to A-list celebrities.
"Credit is not only freely available but considered a way of financing lifestyles rather than reflecting need. Rising debt is also becoming a key issue for younger people from primarily reasonably affluent backgrounds."
Established in 1825, Standard Life offers a range of financial products to consumers in the UK, including pensions, mortgages, insurance and savings products.
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