Our response to MAS’ draft financial capability strategy

Today we’ve published our response to the Money Advice Service’s draft financial capability strategy for the UK.

As the UK’s leading financial capability charity, we want to see everyone on top of their money as part of everyday life. We think that the publication of the draft strategy represents an important step, but currently focuses too much on later life and financial difficulty. It’s important that people engage with their money throughout their life, and whatever their goals.

Because it’s so focused on specific circumstances, it won’t reach a lot of people except with regard to preparing for retirement. We think this will be much more effective if people’s underlying financial capability is improved – and the best way to do this is to reach them at key life stages when people are more motivated to take control of their finances.

Initiatives to engage people with their money also need to be positive and aspirational, not just about resilience and staying out of trouble. Lots of people find thinking about money difficult and stressful, so financial capability initiatives should highlight the benefits good money management can bring, not just the problems it can help avoid.

We believe that the final strategy should:

  • Aim to reach people throughout their lives to help them reach short and long-term goals
  • Do this at key life stages – such as starting university, starting work, or getting married
  • Focus on the positive side of money
  • Be clear about how the strategy will be delivered – in particular that MAS will work with and fund third-sector organisations to do this

 

You can read our full response here.