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: