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MAS: Why the Financial Capability Strategy will succeed


The Money Advice Service says its 10-year strategy to improve UK consumers’ financial capability will succeed where similar initiatives have failed.

The MAS has today launched its Financial Capability Strategy which aims to improve consumers’ ability to manage money, save and deal with financial difficulties.

Last month Money Marketing revealed former FSA chief executive Sir Hector Sants had joined a Financial Capability Board to develop and maintain the strategy.

The MAS says the strategy will focus on “every key life stage and challenge”, including children, working age people, retirement planning, savings, older people and those in financial difficulties.

Planned initiatives include working with banks to explore how to target financial capability support at students showing signs of financial difficulty, and a study into which savings schemes work best for low income households.

The strategy also proposes piloting interventions with selected employers to help their employees see the need to plan and increase their retirement savings.

In addition, the MAS plans to support schools in delivering financial education.

The MAS says it will take on a role akin to a “what works centre”, seeking to build understanding of the effectiveness of interventions.

MAS chief executive Caroline Rookes says: “We realise the challenge and we want this strategy to be different.

“There are two characteristics of this strategy which we think will make the difference: it is based on collective impact and evidence-based interventions.

“We know a single organisation cannot do this on their own, so this has been put together with the help of numerous organisations and sectors. Further, instead of coming out with a set of recommendations, we want to test and learn from what works and spread best practice.”

She adds: “I am optimistic that those two things distinguish the strategy from what has gone before.

“In addition, there is a feeling among all sectors that the time has come to do something about financial capability because it has not improved.”

Rookes says the project will not require a significant reallocation of MAS’ resources, as it fits in with the organisation’s overall remit.

The strategy’s progress will be monitored by a regular financial capability survey and “ongoing evaluation” of specific interventions.

The results of the first survey, carried out among 5,000 people, found one in five adults cannot read a bank statement and four in 10 have less than £500 in savings.


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There are 9 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. And why should anyone think they will succeed at this when they have failed at everything they have done so far ?

  2. Pie in the sky.

  3. These dimwits and the others involved in regulation can’t even manage their own budgets, let alone those of the public. Nor do they need to, they just whack on a levy to those who actually work for a living.

  4. Mr Sants has managed to climb back on board the gravy train I note with Rookes justifying her existance!

  5. In the case the only thing likely to succeed is a Budgie. Those with no money are going to be queuing round the block to learn about high finance. (In the same way as they rush to the dentist – they have rotten teeth and rotten finances).

  6. And there are two characteristics of this strategy which I think will make not a jot of difference: it is based on collective impact of the existing failing individuals/organisations and evidence-based history of failure. Great to see Hector back though. Just what the consumer needs. Be afraid, be very afraid.

  7. Hopefully this comment does not sound condescending it is not meant to be. There are an awful lot of people in this country that live on low wages.(Even with Mum and Dad working)
    Many hardly have enough money to meet basic needs. They are merely paying to give themselves and their family decent standard of living mere thought about holiday to some is an unaffordable luxury.
    Unfortunately, the politicians and the members of these quangos the are used to receiving six-figure salaries and or bonuses. Frankly, they live in a bubble and cannot comprehend how people get themselves in financial trouble my trying to save for a secure retirement.

  8. Who is paying for all of this? Why should advisers pay for eduction failings.

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