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Money Advice Service wants financial education code of practice

The Money Advice Service is to develop a voluntary code of practice for firms that run financial education programmes to benchmark whether the programmes are changing attitudes to finance.

Research commissioned by the MAS estimates the industry invests around £25m a year in financial education programmes, mainly targeted at under 18s.

The research found that while over half of the 36 financial programmes run each year measure the numbers participating, but only 20 per cent examined behavioural change.

The MAS says following the research it will work with providers and stakeholders within the financial education sector to establish a good practice forum.

The code of practice, which will set out ways to measure the success of financial education programmes, is expected to be completed next year.

The MAS plans to measure the financial capability of 15-16 year olds in the UK over the next year. It will also work with the Personal Finance Education Group to increase the impact of financial education initiatives targeted at schools.

MAS chairman Gerard Lemos (pictured) says: “Developing financial capability for young people is an important part of our work and many excellent industry-funded programmes have been supporting the same objective for years.

“We look forward to working with the industry and other organisations in drawing up a voluntary code to create a more joined-up, comprehensive and impactful approach.”


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There are 16 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. It’s started – another jumped-up quangocrat making up his own remit and trying to extend his ’empire’. So-called financial education before the age of 18 is a complete waste of time and money but hey! that’s what quangos are good at – WASTING MONEY. Especially when they are spending other people’s money and are totally unaccountable to the people paying their wages.

  2. I had a lot to say but. . .Bill Wells beat me to it and said it all. End of.

  3. MAS should just fund pfeg to educate teachers to teach financial education to kids. pfeg are the experts and they have an excellent track record.

  4. I am a big believer in education not coercion but this is a waste of time and money. Introducing financial education into schools is a possibility but then the measure becomes a test result not practical application i.e. taking out a a protection product or pension savings. As we mass enrol employees we are not educating them and that’s why Aviva’s umpteen studies show that so few will bother to stay in the pension.
    What is the answer…….I don’t know but I think that the likes of MAS could have a big part to play if they could get there act together.

  5. For once I’ve seen something I agree with from the Money Advice Service.

    With the record number of indebted people in society and credit cards and other forms of debt being thrown at school leavers, basic financial education at school is well overdue.

    After all how many children leave school without knowing what a current account is? or a direct debit?and as for APR I think even some adults would struggle.

    We take for granted the things we know as adults and not all infomation is passed on by parents so a standardised approach by schools would be a good idea.

  6. Forgive me but didn’t MAS identify that their own delivery of information and guidance (not advice) failed to cause any change in behaviour of the users?

    It intends to measure the financial capability of 15-16 year olds clearly a key demographic for the IFA sector who funds this waste of space

    How much did this research cost?

  7. We spend an inordinate amount of time devoting our time and resources to identifying and satisfying clients needs, then, when the solution is recommended, on more occasions than less, we have to engage with clients to further THEIR knowledge of both the products we are recommending and how they work, which is only right and proper, but we are not qualified teachers, not paid a salary by FSA or MAS to purport to do anything other than that described above.

    In the main, clients who have funds available for protection, investment or pension planning have a limited resource levely by which to invest or save.

    No amount of so called financial education will increase their available funds, unless of course they are one of the lucky 10% HNW

    I have also found that despite their perceived wealth, a high proportion of NHW clients I have dealt with think they are more knowledgeable than they really are, having made their wealth through other industry business, not financial businesses.

    As for educating the younger generation (18+) don’t be daft, they are interested in having fun, which is right and proper, that is of course if they can find a job which supports such a fun lifestyle.

    I don’t regret having fun in my callow youth, everyone should try it.

  8. Quality financial education at early age will build your clients of the future, as well as being morally correct.

    Bench-marking is a sensible step in the right direction for quality financial education.

    It’s not often I agree with MAS, and the application may prove less robust than the idea, but it has to be worth a shot!

  9. Why not:-

    1. make financial planning part of the national school curriculum and

    2. make evening classes available for those who wish to learn how better to manage their finances and long term planning?

    Oh no ~ that’d be far too simple and cost effective. Let’s do it instead by way of the MAS and charge the industry for it.

  10. Being young enough to remember my own thoughts, as well as the views of my peers, I feel that any form of financial education will be of such limited affect as to make it a gross waste of money.

    The vast majority of teenage pupils could be divided into 3 groups; those who would only learn what they had to, those who would only take an interest in what would get them into the right degree/a job on leaving and those who were determined to learn nothing/already playing truant.

    The reality is that whatever the subject, at best the education is usually only retained until the assessment is completed and at worst is in one ear and straight out of the other.

    I’m with Ned Naylor-let the youth have fun!

  11. Michael Fallas 13th June 2012 at 4:57 pm

    This should be funded by Government and given itis costing us anything from £500 to £1,000 per person they aim to help depending on which budget figures you believe, it is very costly.

    Also why are they not regulated by the FSA?

  12. “The code of practice, which will set out ways to measure the success of financial education programmes, is expected to be completed next year.”
    This sounds incredibly like the Governments own scheme to gauge the happiness of the general public. Is happiness or behaviour really quantifiable? And how do you determine between the causal factors and the effect? All you really have are statistics that amount to nothing more than circumstantial evidence.

  13. Research commissioned by the MAS estimates the industry invests around £25m a year in financial education programmes, mainly targeted at under 18s.

    So this is private money and MAS no doubt will claim responsibility for any ‘success’ demonstrated.

  14. Providing education to youngsters won’t matter one jot. Most education comes from the habits of the parents or pressure for the youngster’s environment. A financial education programme won’t stop a youngster ‘investing’ £100 in a pair of trainers if that’s what they want.

  15. Please, no more wasting money. Why should we be paying for this?

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