Press release: Financial Capability Strategy Board calls on stakeholders to rally around key calls to action for addressing financial capability in the UK

Wednesday 14 November 2018

  • Launched by Sir Hector Sants on behalf of the Financial Capability Strategy Board, at the Talk Money Week conference, in front of 600 attendees from across the financial capability and debt management sectors
  • The five Calls to Action are the Financial Capability Strategy’s ambitious vision of how we could move the dials towards an ideally financially capable nation
  • Based on robust insight and evidence, they address the five building blocks of financial capability: savings, credit, debt advice, retirement and financial education

This Talk Money Week (12-18 November), the Financial Capability Strategy Board is calling on organisations from across the financial capability community to adopt five Calls to Action as part of an ambitious vision to support people throughout the UK to make the most of their money.

Designed to give a direction of travel for everyone, from the financial services sector to policymakers, educators and third sector organisations, to rally around, these five Calls to Action will enable the better understanding and addressing of barriers to everyday financial capability. They will also help identify and implement practical market solutions or interventions that work for consumers.

A December 2021 timescale to address each Call to Action marks a deliberately challenging deadline for tackling what can be a wide and complex landscape. Much of this work is already taking place, from behavioural change-based interventions like the sidecar savings schemes to technological solutions, making access to debt advice easier for more people. But by working collaboratively, across all stakeholders who aim to build financial capability, even more progress can be made.

These calls to action set a strategic direction for the sector in the five key building blocks of financial capability: savings, financial education, access to debt advice, retirement planning and use of credit: We know, based on robust evidence and insight, that these areas both individually and collectively make the biggest difference to people wanting to make the most of their money.

By December 2021, one million more adults could be saving, a million fewer people could be relying on credit for everyday essentials, half a million more a year could be receiving free, effective debt advice, two million more working age adults could feel informed enough to make decisions about retirement and 60% of 7-17 year olds could receive meaningful financial education in settings which match their needs.

Sir Hector Sants, on behalf of the Financial Capability Strategy Board, said:

“These Calls to Action are deliberately ambitious. They are a targeted strike at the heart of the challenges that people face with making the most of their money.

“We know from our customers, our stakeholders, our evidence and our research, that building financial capability across the UK is of the utmost importance. The Financial Capability Strategy Board is calling on the financial capability community to rally around these Calls to Action, putting into action interventions that will collectively get millions more people saving, planning for their retirement, reducing the use of credit for everyday expenses, accessing free debt advice, and getting a great financial education.

“The right financial capability interventions at the right time can change lives.”

Sarah Porretta, UK Financial Capability Director at the Money Advice Service, said:

“The Financial Capability Strategy was created to address a UK-wide problem by answering one key question: how can we help people develop the lifelong control and confidence to make the most of their money?

“Through these Calls to Action we’re several steps closer to achieving this goal. We know that when people are more financially capable, positive outcomes go up across the board. That’s why we invite everyone from across the whole financial capability community – from banks and building societies, to pension providers and policy makers, advisers, academics, and educators - to engage with these goals.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The Financial Capability Strategy was launched in 2015 to bring together employers, charities, government and business to collaborate and take action to permanently address these and other issues, giving people the control and confidence to make the most of their money - from pocket money to pensions: https://www.fincap.org.uk/

The Money Advice Service is the anchor organisation for the Financial Capability Strategy. It is an independent service, set up by government. It works in partnership with other organisations to help people make the most of their money.

Calls to action

The Financial Capability Strategy Board’s ambitious vision of how we could “move the dials” towards an ideally financially capable nation and a direction of travel for many different organisations to rally around.

Building block Call to Action 2021 Ambition
Savings 10.7m adults don’t save regularly, and 11.5m have less than £100 in savings to fall back on. We want everyone to save money regularly. We want 1 million more adults to be saving
Credit 9m adults often borrow to buy food or pay bills. We want to see a fall in the number of people relying on credit for everyday essentials. We want 1 million fewer people relying on credit for everyday essentials
Debt advice 8.3m people are over-indebted but less than a quarter seek help. We want everyone who needs it to be able to get free and effective debt advice. We want 500,000 more people a year to get free and effective debt advice
Retirement 22m working-age people say they don’t know enough to plan for their retirement. We want everyone to have the support they need to make informed decisions about their retirement. We want 2 million more working age adults to say they understand enough to make more informed decisions about their retirement
Financial education Only 52% of 7-17 year olds said they receive some form of financial education in school, at home, or in other settings. We want all children and young people to have a meaningful financial education 60% of 7-17 year olds receive meaningful financial education delivered in settings appropriate to their needs.We have a better understanding of financial education in early years and in supporting the transition to work.

About Talk Money Week

Talk Money Week is a new public awareness week from the Money Advice Service to help encourage more open conversations about money. Held from 12-18 November, the week is designed to increase financial wellbeing among Britons by encouraging them to discuss personal finance issues including savings, debt, using credit, financial education and retirement. During Talk Money Week, the Money Advice Service and its partners will be hosting events and activations across the UK designed to encourage more money conversations, provide tips and ideas for saving, budgeting and increase financial wellbeing. Talk Money Week is a key initiative of the Financial Capability Strategy for the UK.

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