Press Release: Money Advice Service Launches IMPACT Principles

Wednesday 25 May 2016

The Money Advice Service, in conjunction with the UK Financial Capability Strategy, launches IMPACT Principles and Evaluation Toolkit

Financial capability in the UK remains stubbornly low – new resources launched today aim to help improve it.

The Money Advice Service, has today announced the launch of the IMPACT Principles and Evaluation Toolkit as part of the Financial Capability Strategy for the UK. The principles, to which organisations are asked to make a public commitment, are designed to raise awareness about, and encourage, good evidence and evaluation practice. The toolkit is a set of resources to help organisations evaluate the impact of their programmes on people’s financial capability.

The Money Advice Service will support organisations that sign up to the principles or use the toolkit, and ensure that any new evidence is uploaded to the Financial Capability Evidence Hub where it will be available for the benefit of the wider sector. The ultimate goal is to understand what works best to support people’s financial capability, and to use this knowledge to improve existing programmes and target funding at effective interventions.

21 organisations have signed up to the IMPACT principles to date including Royal London, Experian, Squirrel and Legal & General as well as banks such as Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and HSBC and charitable organisations including Young Enterprise, Toynbee Hall and Age UK.

Financial capability remains stubbornly low across the UK: a survey conducted as part of the UK Financial Capability Strategy showed that millions of people across the nation are not in control of their finances. However, by conducting effective evaluation and gathering evidence about the best ways to improve people’s financial capability, it’s possible to assess the most effective approaches. Helping existing interventions to be even more effective, developing new approaches based on emerging evidence about what works best, and making funding and policy decisions based on a broader and deeper level of knowledge ultimately makes a lasting, positive difference to levels of financial capability.

Speaking about the launch, David Haigh, Director of Financial Capability at the Money Advice Service, said:

“The fact that so many organisations realise that low levels of financial capability are a major issue and are already trying to do something about it shows that there’s a clear desire for positive change – the only way the problem will be solved is if we’re able to work together to evaluate and identify the approaches which work best. The adoption of the IMPACT Principles and Evaluation Toolkit represents a clear step towards establishing a common standard of evaluation and of sharing evaluative findings. Ultimately, the launch of these resources will mean that interventions are as effective as possible, which in turn means that more people will have the knowledge and skills needed to manage their money well.

Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London, said:

“It is vitally important that we do not reinvent the wheel when it comes to initiatives that will help people with their money. Where we find things that work we need to share that good practice far and wide, and Royal London is committed to playing its part in this collective endeavour.”

Chris Clark, Managing Director of Experian UK&I, said:

“We welcome the launch of the IMPACT Principles and are really pleased to be among the first cohort of organisations to adopt them. Helping people of all ages access the information they need to make better financial decisions sits right at the heart of Experian, which is why we have developed a range of quality-marked, free financial education resources such as Values, Money & Me and Jangle. We fully support the move to work collaboratively with other organisations, sharing evidence and promoting best practice, so that together we can help to make sure as many young people as possible get access to high-quality financial education and develop the knowledge and skills they need to make the right decisions about money.”

Emanuel Andjelic, Co-founder and chairman at Squirrel, said:

“Squirrel is committed to building financial resilience in a scientific and outcome-focused manner, so we really welcome the Money Advice Service IMPACT principles. The IMPACT initiative provides us with the perfect forum to share our knowledge, whilst learning from others for the benefit of the wider community. We recognise that without strong evidence and evaluation of the tools we’re building, we can’t possibly achieve the best outcomes for our users. Working in collaboration by sharing our own findings with the wider financial capability community, we will all benefit from the rich pool of data being shared.”

For more information about the Evaluation Toolkit and IMPACT Principles please visit www.fincap.org.uk.

-ENDS-

For more information please contact:

Money Advice Service Press Office

020 7947 0068 / pressoffice@moneyadviceservice.org.uk

Notes to editors

· The Evaluation Toolkit can be found at: http://www.fincap.org.uk/evaluation-toolkit-homepage

· The IMPACT Principles can be found at: www.fincap.org.uk/impact-principles

· The Evidence Hub can be found at: http://www.fincap.org.uk/evidence_hub

Current list of signatories to the IMPACT Principles:

· Barclays

· Lloyds Banking Group

· Royal Bank of Scotland

· NatWest

· Ulster Bank

· Experian

· Squirrel

· Money Advice Service

· MyBnk

· Young Scot

· Royal London

· Toynbee Hall

· Age UK

· Legal & General

· HSBC

· The Money Charity

· Wales Co-Op

· Wessex Water

· NSAFS

· Young Enterprise

· Institute of Fiscal Studies University College

About the Financial Capability Strategy for the UK

The ten year Financial Capability Strategy was launched in October 2015 to improve people’s ability to manage money well day to day, prepare for and manage life events, and deal with financial difficulties. Its focus is on developing people’s financial skills and knowledge as well as their attitudes and motivation. The strategy is built around two key concepts:

i. collective impact and cross-sector co-ordination rather than isolated interventions

ii. testing and learning to determine what works in order to deliver evidence-based interventions : resources will be steered towards activities on the basis of what is proven to work.