On 9th August 2007, the French bank BNP Paribas announced it had lost an enormous amount of money on sub-prime mortgages where money had been lent to people who were unlikely to be able to pay them back.
The European Central Bank decided they had no option but to pump billions into the banking system so money could keep flowing in and out of the bank accounts of millions of people. But what started as a complicated financial tangle that is still unwinding has affected the patchwork of all our lives.
This morning we've been asking people on Twitter to share their experiences of the last five years. Even in 140 characters the scale and stress of the changes some have faced is clear. It has sometimes inspired people to change their lives for the better, and others have not been affected at all.
But for many people getting in touch the legacy of the crunch has made just getting by hard indeed. Here is a selection of how recession has affected people's lives in their own words:
@itvlaurak Business collapsed, worked at school, funding cut, lost job, 18months on minimum wage - £40 a week to feed family of 3. v v tough
@itvlaurak I lost my job and had to move to Australia to find another.
@itvlaurak 7 friends male, experienced 40s made redundant -2 of them x2. Got new jobs but one unemployed 4 a year, most took salary cut.
@itvlaurak As a recent Masters graduate, I've struggled to find work in UK rest of EU, recession is killing prospects for late 20s
@itvlaurak 3 separate periods of unemployment. Unable to find a full time job or even a permanent job. Had to move back in with parents.
@itvlaurak A year ago my partner's business orders dried up. He had to resort to a factory job that nearly killed him.
@itvlaurak had 2 employers go bust in space of 6 months. Flirted with negative equity. But family happy and strong. Best 5 years of my life
@itvlaurak No catastrophes yet but constantly reminded that 'others' are making redundancies while working conditions eroded.
@itvlaurak Lost my job. New one pays 40% less. Wife lost her job 3 times as subsequent firms went bust. Government benefits system useless.
@itvlaurak tbh it hasn't. Sold flat, bought and renovated house. Earning more and working hours that suit family too! Both in public sector.
@itvlaurak we managed to buy our first family home at a reasonable price having saved for four years so it was good for us :)
@itvlaurak bought a new house and now credit card debt free. Its made me get serious about my finances.
@itvlaurak Guessing u only hearing from those who have had negative 5yrs. I’m I guess like the majority esp in SE. Recession what recession