Tackling financial exclusion: A country that works for everyone? Contents

Chapter 4: Financial education, advice and capacity building

Financial education

90.While the recommendations we have set out so far will be vital in addressing financial exclusion they must also be complemented by appropriate measures to increase financial capability. In seeking to tackle exclusion an appropriate balance must be struck between those measures which respond and react to current problems, and those which will develop the capability and capacity of future generations. In this chapter we consider the current nature and extent of provision in this field, and make a number of recommendations for action.

91.Delivery of a more financially inclusive society will require individuals to be equipped with the financial skills and knowledge required to make good, responsible decisions. Those same skills are also an important building block—though not the only solution—in allowing people to avoid debt, hardship and reliance on high-cost products.

92.Support in developing and building financial capability is essential in ensuring that individuals can take responsibility for the financial choices that they make; for this reason, adequate provision of financial education is a vital building block in preventing financial exclusion. We were told that “personal responsibility is closely linked to financial capability, which is why financial education is so important”.106 Gateshead Council emphasised the importance of adequate teaching within schools:

“Personal responsibility is vitally important but people don’t know what they don’t know . . . If financial education wasn’t taught to them at school who is going to teach them in the real world? . . . There needs to be something viable at a young age to equip the next generation to leave school with a much greater sense of personal responsibility. The government can do this by bringing in more meaningful financial education throughout the school ages.”107

93.Financial capability is not something that, once taught, remains static. Individuals will need to respond to different financial challenges at different points in their life. What is important is that individuals are equipped, from an early age, with the requisite skills to make good financial judgements, and a knowledge of where to seek appropriate advice. Thereon, there needs to be access to good, impartial advice where necessary and the provision of appropriate levels of support for those who encounter debt or difficulty.

The school curriculum

94.Across the UK the extent and nature of financial education provided within schools varies. Box Two provides an outline on the teaching of financial education in the devolved nations, which presents a contrast with the situation in England.

Box 2: Financial Education in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Financial education is significantly more embedded in schools in the devolved administrations than in England. Personal finance education already forms a part of both the primary and secondary national curricula in each of the devolved nations, with established frameworks for study.


Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence (the Scottish national curriculum) provides opportunities for schools to adopt a cohesive, planned and co-ordinated approach to financial education that works across a school’s curriculum. Education Scotland provides guidance and support for teachers through a dedicated financial education section on its website.

The four aspects of financial capability in the Scottish provision are:

  • Financial understanding
  • Financial competence—the ability to apply understanding to a range of real-life contexts
  • Financial responsibility—defined as a “caring and responsible disposition” with regard to using money
  • Financial enterprise—being “the ability to deploy resources in an imaginative and confident manner, such as knowing how to choose the most suitable forms of spending and saving.”


In Wales, financial education has been embedded within the statutory primary and secondary curricula since 2008. It is chiefly delivered through Mathematics, where “managing money” is an identified element of “using numbers”. It also features in Personal and Social Education and Careers.

In September 2015, the Welsh Government introduced a new GCSE Numeracy qualification, which includes aspects of financial literacy and tests students in the context of personal and household finance questions.

Wales is in the process of moving towards a thematic—rather than subject-based—curriculum, formed around six areas of learning: expressive arts; humanities; health and wellbeing; languages, literacy and communication; mathematics and numeracy; and science and technology. It is not yet clear where financial education will fit into this new curriculum structure.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland financial education is divided into three connected themes—financial knowledge and understanding, financial skills and competence, and financial responsibility.

The subject is embedded in the primary and secondary curricula and is an element of both mathematics and personal development. Support for teachers is offered through a micro-site developed by the Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA).

Source: All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People report, Financial Education in Schools: Two Years On—Job Done?

95.While each of the devolved nations has financial education in both the primary and secondary curriculum, provision in England has been more limited; until 2014, in fact, there was no statutory requirement for such teaching in English schools. When considering provision in English secondary schools it is also important to note that the national curriculum applies only to maintained schools (those run by local authorities), and not to academies, free schools and the independent sector.

96.In September 2014 financial education was added to the statutory national curriculum for secondary schools in England. Since then, schools have been required to include financial education as part of Mathematics and Citizenship teaching at Key Stages 3 and 4. Young Enterprise told us that this addition to the curriculum was a welcome step forward and represented a shift towards greater prevention of financial exclusion.108

97.There is still, though, no requirement for English primary schools to include financial education as part of their teaching. In addition, as only 35% of state-funded secondary schools are now maintained schools,109 the obligation to teach financial education does not apply to nearly two-thirds of all state secondary schools.

98.This was highlighted as a concern when considering the impact, since 2014, of financial education being included in the secondary curriculum. Young Enterprise told us that provision remained patchy, and that inclusion on the secondary curriculum did not appear to be the principal driver for providing financial education. They went on to suggest that the attitudes of school leaders towards the issue of financial education were of much greater relevance in determining whether it was taught, noting that this was evident in the level of provision at primary level, despite the subject not being included in the primary curriculum.110

99.Similar concerns were expressed by Demos, the Money Advice Trust, the Financial Inclusion Commission and Christians Against Poverty.111 Martin Lewis went slightly further, telling us that:

“There was a pyrrhic victory. I campaigned to get this on the national curriculum; it is an important part of inclusion. It was a long campaign. We got the box ticked that financial education was on the national curriculum. We have since seen no resources put into teaching it, and no resources put into training teachers how to teach it. I hear things such as that banks and financial services companies should be footing the bill. We do not ask GlaxoSmithKline to pay for chemistry. This is on the national curriculum. Why are we asking banks to pay for it? It should be taught.

We have a real problem too with the academisation of schools, because, of course, they do not have to follow the national curriculum, so now we have a secondary battle. We once persuaded government to put it on the national curriculum. Now, frankly, that is a trivial issue. We need to go around and persuade each head teacher that they need to resource it. Financial education is one of the keys to financial inclusion.”112

100.Provision at secondary school level is, therefore, patchy and inconsistent, and must be addressed. There is, additionally, a strong case to be made for financial education to be included in the statutory primary school curriculum. Early intervention is particularly important for financial education, with research for MAS finding that attitudes towards money are typically embedded by the age of seven.113

101.Currently, there are a large number of charities, credit unions, banks and religious organisations involved in providing financial education, and initiatives such as school banks, within primary schools. Examples that were highlighted to us include the Church of England Lifesavers initiative, Credit Union School Savings Clubs in Leeds and education programmes provided by Nationwide Building Society.114

102.These initiatives are to be welcomed, and we commend them. We believe, however, that such work needs to be supported by a strong lead from Government, and an impetus to provide statutory financial education at primary level. A large number of witnesses called for financial education to begin in primary schools.115 Gateshead Council shared this view, and suggested that financial education should develop as children progressed through the school system:

“Financial education must start in primary schools to allow the simple basics of money matters to be taught, such as how much things cost, how to save and why saving is a positive thing. From primary school to leaving secondary school the financial education curriculum should move with age appropriate content ensuring all topics are covered . . . Every child should leave school with an excellent knowledge and full understanding of how to manage money in adult life and how to make positive money choices”.116

103.We recommend that financial education should be added to the primary school curriculum. This measure alone, however, will not be sufficient to enhance the level of financial education provision in schools; experience since the 2014 addition of financial education to the statutory secondary school curriculum in England suggests that additional measures are necessary. (Recommendation 6)

The Ofsted Common Inspection Framework

104.A number of our witnesses argued that, in order to secure a more universal implementation of financial education within schools, financial education should be more explicitly addressed in the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework.117 We were told that, without inclusion in the inspection framework, there was little to incentivise schools to prioritise financial education when many competing demands were placed on teachers’ time.118 The Personal Social Health and Economic Education (PSHE) Association told us:

“Inspection is an incredibly strong influence, whatever that inspection is of. There are two measures. Obviously, one very strong driver for schools is the academic results of the school, and inspection is the other. I do not think that schools see inspections as looking just at their academic results, although obviously that is part of it, but things get lost when some things are not spelled out in an inspection framework in that way.”119

105.Ofsted’s current Common Inspection Framework sets out the principles that apply to school inspections, but does not place a focus on specific subjects within them. Financial education does not, therefore, form part of inspections in England, despite its statutory status at secondary level. The Minister of State for School Standards told us—understandably—that it would not be cost-effective for Ofsted to inspect individual subjects as part of their school inspections.120

106.Ofsted does, however, use a four-point scale to make graded judgement of schools in four distinct areas. One of these areas concerns ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’. Within the Framework, guidance under this heading indicates that inspectors will consider the extent to which provision supports children’s “choices about the next stage of their education, employment, self-employment or training, where relevant, from impartial careers advice and guidance” and “employability skills so that they are well prepared for the next stage of their education, employment, self-employment or training”. In addition, the guidance references a range of pastoral, health and safeguarding matters which will be accounted for.121

107.There is, therefore, a focus within the framework upon learning that will support children in making future life and career choices, and allow them to participate fully in society and the economy. There is, though, no explicit reference to financial capability, education or learning, despite the key role that these elements could clearly play in supporting the personal development of pupils.

108.In May 2016 the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Education for Young People published a report entitled Financial education in schools: Two years on - job done?122 In this report, the APPG recommended that:

“Ofsted should update the Common Inspection Framework to more explicitly address the extent to which schools provide young people with financial knowledge and skills.”123

We support this recommendation.

109.We recommend that the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework should be updated to more explicitly address the extent to which schools provide young people with financial knowledge and skills. Such a measure will help to ensure that schools attach an appropriate degree of priority to financial education and learning. (Recommendation 7)

110.The APPG report made a number of other key recommendations124 which are germane to financial education provision. In particular, it suggested that statutory financial education should be strengthened in Mathematics and Citizenship at secondary level, in order to better focus on real-life contexts. In addition, the APPG recommended that the Department for Education should embed financial education within the new Initial Teacher Training framework, and that this measure should be supported by encouraging schools to learn and share good practice through CPD initiatives focused on financial education. This is a sensible proposal, which would help to address concerns that we heard regarding the lack of training provided to teachers on financial education matters.125

111.We believe that, taken together, the key recommendations of the APPG report would provide a sound footing in financial education for school children, equipping them with the key skills necessary to inform their financial decision making in later life.

Further and higher education

112.We do not believe that financial education should end abruptly at the age of 16. Between the ages of 16 and 24 young people are faced with an array of choices which can affect their financial wellbeing; they are also eligible for an increasing number of financial products and services, with varying degrees of complexity and nuance. Professor Jonquil Lowe set out the situation facing this age group:

“As young adults move into their adult life and start to engage with the workplace, taxation and their need to budget their salary and, one hopes, are starting to save, they will be bombarded with offers of credit, so financial education becomes much more salient. That is the point at which you probably need to bring in current product knowledge, using tools to engage with those decisions. That would seem to me an even more important point at which to have financial education.”126

113.We were told, however, that this age group are among those most likely to suffer from problems affecting their financial wellbeing. Research suggests that 37% of 18–24 year olds hold one or more credit cards, an overdraft, or other form of borrowing, with average combined debts of £2,989. These figures exclude student loans and mortgages.127 We also heard that 51% of the 18–24 age group regularly worry about money.128

114.It was suggested that financial education should be provided to this age group, perhaps through incorporation into apprenticeships or courses of study.129 We were told, however, that research had identified limited provision within further education settings, with a lack of curriculum time, shortage of suitably qualified tutors and, in part, a lack of interest on the part of some students all contributing to this deficiency.130

115.Financial services providers can help to address this situation. We noted with interest the work of the Lloyds Bank Money for Life programme, which is aimed at 16–24 year olds and provides online resources and three Open College Network accredited qualifications.131 The programme seeks to provide advice and information to support the transition from school education to independent adulthood.

116.In general, however, we received limited evidence on the provision of financial education services to this particular cohort. While there is a certain degree of focus on the financial education needs of those who are under 16—even if provision is often lacking—there is less of a focus on the needs of the 16–24 age group. We believe that it is important that suitable provision is made available to these young people, who are often at a stage in their lives when they are making important decisions with long-term, far-reaching financial consequences.

117.We believe that the provision of financial education to young adults in further and higher education needs to be improved; this important age group is not particularly well served under current arrangements. We believe that education providers should, where appropriate, incorporate financial education modules into programmes of study.

Financial guidance and advice services

Replacement of the Money Advice Service

118.Financial learning and guidance does not end when people reach adulthood or begin employment; it is a lifelong requirement. Publicly funded financial guidance is provided by the Money Advice Service (MAS), established in 2010. MAS is funded through a series of levies on the financial services industry, which are operated by the FCA; the FCA appoints the Board of MAS, but the service is operationally independent from both the FCA and the Government. The objectives of MAS are to:

119.In early 2016 the Government set out plans for the reform of public financial guidance which would have seen the closure of MAS and the creation of two distinct guidance organisations (one for general money management and the other for pensions). We received a number132 of representations highlighting concerns about this proposal; the Money Charity told us that “the split between money guidance and pensions guidance is purely artificial, and increasingly meaningless from a consumer’s point of view”.133

120.These concerns were partially addressed when, in October 2016, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury announced that the proposal for two distinct organisations would not be pursued and that, instead, MAS would be replaced by a single body delivering comprehensive advice.134 In December 2016 the Government published a consultation on the form and work of this new single body; the consultation envisages that the new body will commission or deliver services in the following five areas:

121.Witnesses held mixed opinions on the efficacy of the work undertaken by MAS. In recognition of the fact that the Government’s consultation on a replacement body closed last month, and a response is therefore pending, we limit our initial remarks here to highlighting one particularly important area of MAS work which needs to be sustained following its closure—namely the What Works Fund. Later in this chapter we offer some additional conclusions on debt advice.136

122.In June 2016 MAS launched a new What Works Fund, backed by up to £7 million of funding, which is intended to develop greater understanding about how financial capability can be improved. The fund operates across the UK and seeks to build evidence on how particular interventions can effectively support individuals to develop their financial capability. MAS told us that it was currently working with 62 organisations (with a further 28 in the pipeline) to produce a detailed evaluation of programmes by March 2018.137 It was noted that there was currently little hard evidence of ‘what works’ when it came to improving financial capability.138

123.Accordingly, the importance of this work being continued following the closure of MAS was also emphasised.139 Young Scot told us that:

“The real strength of the Money Advice Service has been the focus on what works and gathering together an evidence hub. Losing momentum on that would be a real loss. I am old enough to remember when the FSA originally did some of this work, but very sadly it got lost. It would be a missed opportunity if it was lost again.”140

We agree that it is important for the Government and service providers to continue to develop a greater knowledge of ‘what works’ when seeking to deliver increased financial capability.

124.We believe that the new guidance body that replaces the Money Advice Service should continue to focus upon, and fund, evaluation of financial capability programmes.

Debt and debt advice

125.The levels and types of consumer and other household debt in the UK were a cause of concern for many witnesses. With reports141 suggesting that the average UK household now owes £12,887, we were told that household debt has reached record levels,142 and that by 2020 it will have reached the same ratio to household incomes as its pre-2008 peak.143

126.The Money Advice Trust told us that, in 2007, 69 percent of callers to National Debtline had problems with loans, overdrafts or credit cards and that, by 2014, this figure had fallen to 42 percent. In the same period, however, the service saw a 140 percent rise in calls concerning household debts such as rent arrears, energy and water bills, telephone bills and council tax.144 This pattern was echoed by a number of debt advice agencies,145 suggesting a wider shift in the type of problem debt cases being encountered by service providers. StepChange told us that the proportion of clients approaching them with problems relating to council tax arrears doubled between 2011 and 2015.146

127.This increase coincides, in part, with the abolition of Council Tax Benefit. Since April 2013 local authorities have been responsible for their own Council Tax Support schemes, with variations in provision across the country. While some groups—including pensioners—were protected from the impact of these changes we were told that the abolition of Council Tax Benefit had contributed to the growth of council tax arrears among other groups.147

128.In addition, it was suggested that these debts were sometimes collected in a way that could prove detrimental to long-term financial health and wellbeing. StepChange told us that, in a survey of 1,000 clients with council tax arrears, 65% of people who had contacted their council had received a tough demand or threat of enforcement (such as being threatened with bailiff enforcement or court action, or having a demand for the full bill to be paid in one go).148 The Financial Services Consumer Panel noted that this approach could actually increase costs for other local authority service areas, who would ultimately need to provide support to the individuals concerned.149

129.It is clear, though, that practice varies across differing local authorities150; Leeds City Council highlighted a number of improvements that they had made to their approach in recent years.151 We were also told that local government council tax collection practices had been scored highly in a January 2016 report by Citizens Advice.152 Citizens Advice have worked, with the Local Government Association (LGA), to produce a best practice guide153 for council tax collection and enforcement; we believe that this guidance should be adopted and implemented by all local authorities.

130.It is evident that the methods and practices that creditors employ when dealing with debt can have a material impact on the financial exclusion of the individuals concerned. We were told that forbearance or ‘breathing space’ had a positive effect, with one survey suggesting that 60% of debt clients who had received forbearance from their creditors had seen their financial situation stabilise as a result.154 It was also suggested that good practice had become more widespread in the financial services sector in recent years.155

131.While practice on the part of some creditors has therefore improved, long-term funding for the debt advice sector was highlighted as a cause of concern. When visiting Coventry we were told that reductions in local authority budgets from central Government had made it increasingly difficult for councils to fund generalist advice, and that this had been compounded by the removal of many aspects of debt and welfare advice from the scope of Legal Aid provision. The same trend was also highlighted by StepChange, and by MAS.156 The Salvation Army pointed out the wider cost of failing to provide appropriate services:

“A significant concern is the wider question of funding in this area. Local Authorities have been a significant source of funding for organisations providing debt advice but across the country we find that the number of staff or sessions they can fund is decreasing.

At present it is unclear whose responsibility it is to ensure that sufficient accessible services are provided. The cost to the state of families without work or housing is considerable. Is it a false economy not to fund such services?”157

132.Local authorities are not the sole source of such funding. At present, MAS funds free debt advice across the UK, through a range of partner organisations including Toynbee Hall, Talking Money and Citizens Advice. StepChange, MAS and Citizens Advice all told us that the commissioning and funding of such advice should continue to be a role of the body that succeeds MAS.158 There were also concerns, however, that the “slimmed down” nature of a new body might lead to a focus on resolving debt issues rather than preventing them through improvements in financial capability.159 It will clearly be important for the new body to be able to support activities that aim to both prevent, and resolve, financial exclusion.

133.The loss of debt advice services—particularly those provided at a local level—is a cause for significant concern. This concern is intensified by increasing levels of household debt. The body that succeeds the Money Advice Service must be provided with the appropriate mandate to be able to commission and fund effective and impartial debt advice for all who need it.

The role of employers

134.Employers can play an important role in preventing financial exclusion and promoting inclusion. There is an imperative for employers to be proactive in this field; we were told of research suggesting that 70% of UK employees admitted to wasting a fifth of their time at work worrying about their finances and that at least 17.5 million working hours are lost each year as a result of workers taking time off due to financial stress.160 We were also told that stress and mental health problems, which can be triggered by poor financial health, were the third largest cause of sickness absence.161

135.Research published in recent years supports the view that workplace productivity can be negatively affected by financial worries. A 2014 report from Barclays found that 46% of surveyed employees worried about their finances, with one in five stating that their financial situation affected their work.162 In a similar survey, carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in January 2017, 25% of employees reported that financial problems were affecting their workplace performance; the figure rose to 30% for public sector employees.163

136.We were told of a number of initiatives through which employers—operating unilaterally or with partners—had sought to provide services, training or guidance that would promote financial inclusion and resilience. One such example highlighted joint working between the Church of England, credit unions and employers to promote payroll savings schemes in the City of London.164 The Association of British Credit Unions Ltd (ABCUL) noted that such payroll partnerships have significant efficiency and sustainability benefits for credit unions and productivity benefits for employers.165 Birmingham Financial Inclusion Partnership suggested that employers could be incentivised through Government initiatives to support such schemes.166

137.Neyber told us that the workplace offered an ideal opportunity to continue financial education, noting that employers have a direct interest in the financial wellbeing of their staff and were partially responsible for continuing professional development. They went on to suggest that employers could add financial literacy to company induction and training programmes.167 This suggestion was echoed by Gateshead Council, who told us:

“As employers they are well placed to offer financial education courses to employees . . . possibly asking employees to complete online modules over a given time period if face-to-face teaching would be deemed inappropriate. Government could develop this training then fund or co-fund this with employers which could have a huge impact upon the financial capability of today’s adults and go some way to averting further debt”.168

Responsible Finance supported this view, suggesting that employers have a “key role to play in supporting adult financial capability”, before going on to suggest, in particular, that larger employers should be under a duty to provide financial capability training to their employees.169 We believe that employers should play a greater role in this regard, but also acknowledge that this might sometimes be a more practical step for large employers than it is for SMEs.

138.For financial education to be truly effective it needs to continue throughout adult life. Research suggests that financial worries can negatively affect workplace productivity; employers therefore have a clear self-interest in the financial health and wellbeing of their employees. Supporting the ongoing financial capability of employees will, in the long-term, be of benefit to employers.

139.Some employers are open to the idea of providing staff with appropriate financial capability training, and can see the advantages of doing so. More employers should recognise the win-win benefits that could result from this. We believe that the Government and employers’ organisations should work together to develop and implement plans to make such training more widely available.

The importance of encouraging savings

140.Recent research from MAS has suggested that around 16.8 million people have less than £100-worth of savings available to them at any time. Furthermore, 13 million people report that, should they experience a 25% cut in income, they do not have access to enough savings to support themselves for one month. These figures are troubling, as savings provide an important buffer170 to protect people against financial shocks, and reduce the potential for reliance on high-cost lending products or costly unauthorised overdrafts.

141.In addition to protection from financial shocks, there is also a need to promote savings for the long-term, including ensuring that sufficient provision is made to support individuals when they retire. We were told that auto-enrolment into workplace pensions had been a “major success” in addressing exclusion from pension saving171, but it was also suggested that “initially at least many will be retiring with small pension pots”, bringing new challenges for financial inclusion.172

142.It was emphasised that there is, at present, limited understanding of ‘what works’ in terms of promoting the concept of saving. Toynbee Hall explained that:

“There is an assumption that people do not save either because they do not have enough money or because they are too lazy to save—or there is enough out there and if only they switched on their brains they could do it. Actually, all the evidence shows us that we just do not understand saving at all. We do not understand how to switch someone’s savings motivation on or to turn it into something that works for them and speaks to them on an ongoing basis”.173

143.One product feature that has the potential to help those on low incomes and others at risk of financial exclusion is ‘jam-jarring’. This is a feature of a small number of accounts—chiefly offered by some credit unions and prepaid debit card products—whereby customers can automatically put aside amounts from their income into virtual ‘jam-jars’ for regular essential expenses such as rent and utility bills, preventing money set aside for one expense from being used for another.174 A number of witnesses suggested that features of this kind would be especially helpful for claimants negotiating Universal Credit175 for the first time, since its monthly payment structure requires a greater degree of financial planning than current benefits, which are paid weekly or fortnightly (see chapter 8).176 Indeed, DWP has begun to conduct research into how jam-jar accounts could help Universal Credit customers, though this remains at a very early stage.

144.Some witnesses, however, pointed out that these products all currently involve a monthly fee, which could make them inaccessible to those at risk of exclusion—or perhaps even intensifiers of exclusion.177 To combat this, some local councils and housing associations have begun work to negotiate subsidised rates and access for their tenants.178

145.In March 2015 the Government announced its intention to create a Help to Save scheme. The scheme will be open to 3.5 million adults in receipt of Universal Credit, with minimum weekly household earnings equivalent to 16 hours at the National Living Wage. It will also be open to those in receipt of Working Tax Credit. Help to Save works by providing a 50% government bonus on up to £50 of monthly savings into a Help to Save account. The bonus will be paid after two years, with an option to save for a further two years which means that people can save up to £2,400 and benefit from additional government bonuses worth up to £1,200.179 Help to Save accounts are intended to be available from April 2018.

146.Help to Save was welcomed by witnesses,180 who also noted that matched funding schemes were one type of savings product that had been proven to work well.181 The Money Advice Trust suggested that the scheme would help many of the people who needed most support in building up a savings buffer.182 MAS told us that their own research suggested that around half of people who would be eligible for Help to Save currently had no savings and that “it should make a difference to them”.183

147.It was also noted, however, that the sums allocated to the Help to Save initiative by the Government were relatively low. Citizens Advice told us that £90 million had been allocated to support Help to Save over the course of the Parliament, while the funding allocated to “incentives to help better-off people save”, such as the Help to Buy ISA, the savings allowance and increasing the amount of tax-free savings held in an ISA amounted to “about £8 billion”.184

148.In addition, it was suggested that those customers who were likely to be eligible for Help to Save accounts often had variable and uncertain levels of income. As such, the £50 per month cap on savings could prove problematic as it “does not fit those circumstances terribly well”.185 It was suggested that a £50 per month average limit, spaced over a longer period of time, might be more appropriate.186

149.StepChange also argued that, as currently conceived, Help to Save was too narrowly focused. They suggested that a wider approach was required in order to boost low-income savings, recommending that the Government should consider an adaptation of the pensions auto-enrolment scheme in order to boost accessible savings.187

150.We believe that the ability to save is an essential element of financial capacity building. Where possible, access to savings is vital in helping people to overcome financial shocks and difficulties, and limits the demand for use of high-cost lending products. We welcome the Government’s proposed Help to Save initiative, which will support saving by lower and middle income groups; we encourage the Government to take account of suggestions for improvements to the initiative ahead of its anticipated full launch in April 2018.

106 Written evidence from Barclays (FEX0074)

107 Written evidence from Gateshead Council (FEX0046)

108 Written evidence from Young Enterprise (FEX0053)

109 Full Fact, ‘Academies and maintained schools: what do we know?’: https://fullfact.org/education/academies-and-maintained-schools-what-do-we-know/ sourced from the DfE EduBase March 2016 [accessed 14 March 2017]

110 Q 14 (Russell Winnard)

111 Written evidence from Demos (FEX0063), Money Advice Trust (FEX0047), Financial Inclusion Commission (FEX0044) and CAP (FEX0014)

112 Q 143 (Martin Lewis OBE)

113 Written evidence from Young Enterprise (FEX0053)

114 See written evidence from Church of England’s Mission & Public Affairs Council & Church Urban Fund (FEX0025), Leeds City Credit Union Ltd (FEX0069) and Nationwide Building Society (FEX0059)

115 Written evidence from Young Enterprise (FEX0053), Church of England’s Mission & Public Affairs Council and Church Urban Fund (FEX0025), CAP (FEX0014), Barclays (FEX0074), Neyber (FEX0065) and Financial Inclusion Commission (FEX0044)

116 Written evidence from Gateshead Council (FEX0046)

117 See evidence from Gateshead Council (FEX0046), Q 95 (Caroline Rookes CBE), Q 9 (Joanna Elson OBE) and Q 20 (Russell Winnard)

118 Written evidence from Demos (FEX0063)

119 Q 181 (Jenny Barksfield)

120 242 (Nick Gibb MP)

121 Ofsted, The common inspection framework: education, skills and early years (August 2015) p 14:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/461767/The_common_inspection_framework_education_skills_and_early_years.pdf [accessed 14 March 2017]

122 All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People report, Financial Education in Schools: Two Years On — Job Done? (May 2016): https://www.pfeg.org/sites/default/files/APPG%20on%20Financial%20Education%20for%20Young%20People%20-Final%20Report%20-%20May%202016.pdf [accessed 2 February 2017]

123 All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People report, Financial Education in Schools: Two Years On — Job Done? (May 2016) p 31: https://www.pfeg.org/sites/default/files/APPG%20on%20Financial%20Education%20for%20Young%20People%20-Final%20Report%20-%20May%202016.pdf [accessed 2 February 2017]

124 All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People report, Financial Education in Schools: Two Years On — Job Done? (May 2016) pp 9–10: https://www.pfeg.org/sites/default/files/APPG%20on%20Financial%20Education%20for%20Young%20People%20-Final%20Report%20-%20May%202016.pdf [accessed 2 February 2017]

125 Q 182 (Adrian Lyons, Jenny Barksfield)

126 Q 196 (Jonquil Lowe)

127 Written evidence from Demos (FEX0063)

128 Ibid.

129 Written evidence from Bournemouth Churches Housing Association (FEX0058)

130 Q 196 (Martin Upton)

131 Written evidence from Lloyds Banking Group (FEX0077) and Demos (FEX0063)

132 Including those from the Financial Services Consumer Panel (FEX0035), Young Enterprise (FEX0053) and 68 (Lucy Malenczuk).

133 Written evidence from The Money Charity (FEX0061)

134 HM Treasury, Department for Work & Pensions, New public body offering debt advice, money and pensions guidance to be set up (9 October 2016): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-public-body-offering-debt-advice-money-and-pensions-guidance-to-be-set-up [accessed 14 March 2017]

135 HM Treasury, Department for Work & Pensions, Public financial guidance review: consultation on a single body (December 2016): https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/581438/Public_Financial_Guidance_Consultation.pdf [accessed on 14 March 2017]

136 This is in addition to our comments, in Chapter 3, concerning the Financial Capability Strategy.

137 Q 91 (Caroline Rookes CBE)

138 Ibid.

139 Q 151 (Mark Lyonette) and Q 74 (John Boagey)

140 Q 74 (Louise MacDonald OBE)

141 BBC, UK household debt now a record £13,000, says TUC (January 2017): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38534238 [accessed 14 March 2017]

142 Written evidence from Neyber (FEX0065)

143 Written evidence from Carnegie UK Trust (FEX0032), citing the OBR Economic and Fiscal Outlook, November 2015.

144 Written evidence from Money Advice Trust (FEX0047)

145 Written evidence from StepChange Debt Charity (FEX0084) and Sunderland City Council (FEX0081)

146 Q 97 (Francis McGee)

147 80 (Alison Garnham) and Citizens Advice Rossendale (FEX0043)

148 Written evidence from StepChange Debt Charity (FEX0084)

149 Written evidence from Financial Services Consumer Panel (FEX0035)

150 Written evidence from StepChange Debt Charity (FEX0084)

151 Written evidence from Leeds City Council (FEX0030)

152 Written evidence from the Civil Enforcement Association (FEX0095)

153 Supplementary written evidence from LGA (FEX0090)

154 Written evidence from StepChange Debt Charity (FEX0084)

155 Q 91 (Francis McGee)

156 Q 93 (Caroline Rookes CBE, Francis McGee)

157 Written evidence from Salvation Army (FEX0054)

158 Q 93 (Caroline Rookes CBE, Francis McGee), Q 113 (Joe Lane)

159 Written evidence from Unum (FEX0028)

160 Written evidence from Neyber (FEX0065)

161 Written evidence from Responsible Finance (FEX0005)

162 Barclays Bank, ‘Financial Well-being: The last taboo of the workplace?’: https://wealth.barclays.com/global-stock-and-rewards/en_gb/home/research-centre/financial-wellbeing.html[accessed 14 March 2017]

163 Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, Money worries affect productivity of one in for UK employees (11 January 2017): http://www2.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2017/01/11/money-worries-affect-productivity-of-one-in-four-uk-employees.aspx[accessed 14 March 2017]

164 Written evidence from Dr Christine Allison (FEX0017)

165 Written evidence from ABCUL (FEX0037)

166 Written evidence from Birmingham Financial Inclusion Partnership (FEX0049)

167 Written evidence from Neyber (FEX0065)

168 Written evidence from Gateshead Council (FEX0046)

169 Written evidence from Responsible Finance (FEX0005)

170 Q 96 (Francis McGee)

171 Supplementary written evidence from Age UK (FEX0094)

172 Ibid.

173 Q 119 (Sian Williams)

174 Written evidence from Leeds City Council (FEX0030), Leeds City Credit Union (FEX0069), Mastercard (FEX0068) and Shelter (FEX0056). See also Crisis, Saving Scotland: Credit unions and jam jar accounts (June 2014): http://www.crisis.org.uk/data/files/Private_Rented_Sector/Factsheets/Credit_Union_and_Jam_Jar_Account_Factsheet_June_2014.pdf [accessed 14 March 2017].

175 A new means-tested social security benefit for working-age people; see Chapter 8 for more details.

176 Written evidence from Mastercard (FEX0068), citing Department for Work & Pensions, Evaluation of the prepaid card live test (July 2016), Research Report No. 926: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/535234/rr926-evaluation-of-the-prepaid-card-live-test.pdf; see also Q 146 (Martin Lewis OBE)

177 See supplementary written evidence from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (FEX0091) and Q 146 (Martin Lewis OBE).

178 Money Advice Service, ‘Managing your money using the jam-jar approach’: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/managing-your-money-using-the-jam-jar-approach [accessed 14 March 2017]

179 HM Treasury, Help to Save, consultation on implementation (17 October 2016): https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/help-to-save-consultation-on-implementation/help-to-save-consultation-on-implementation [accessed 14 March 2017]

180 Written evidence from the Young Foundation (FEX0022)

181 Q 119 (Sian Williams)

182 Written evidence from the Money Advice Trust (FEX0047)

183 Q 96 (Caroline Rookes CBE)

184 Q 119 (Joe Lane)

185 Q 96 (Francis McGee)

186 Ibid.

187 Written evidence from StepChange Debt Charity (FEX0084)

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