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A failure to address financial problems – akin to ostriches burying their heads in the sand – has left some Brits in need of advice on bankruptcy, and others facing health problems, according to research from Confused.com.

The product comparison site, familiar for its own logo of a financially stressed consumer, found that as many as 64% of Britons prefer to simply not face up to a whole range of different problems.

Money worries rank top of this list, with nearly a third of people ignoring their bank balance, while a quarter are slow to act on health issues and one in five live in denial when their relationship hits a bad patch.

And across the board, nearly one in three people say their failure to act made a situation worse, leaving them with bailiffs at the door, in need of advice on bankruptcy, losing their home or job, developing health problems and putting their family relationships under pressure.

Matt Lloyd, head of life insurance at Confused.com, said: “Britain seems to be a nation of ostriches, with many people choosing to bury their head in the sand rather than dealing with issues head-on.

“Whilst for some things this might be OK, when it comes to things like bills and illnesses, it’s better that any problems are dealt with straight away.”