The FSA’s appointment of Gerard Lemos as chairman of the Consumer Financial Education Body has been hailed as an opportunity to help people on lower incomes who do not have access to financial advice.
Lemos is a partner at social research company Lemos & Crane, where he leads the research team.
The group helps run numerous socially responsible projects including Money Action Net, a scheme to help social landlords educate their tenants in financial matters.
Technology & Technical director Kim North says the appointment of a social policy expert is welcome as he will ensure that CFEB “touches the parts of society where IFAs do not dare to tread”.
She says: “The CFEB needs to cover the parts of the social spectrum which have dropped off the financial services radar. Lemos understands welfare issues and that is where the body should be going, not towards the employee benefits sector.”
Baigrie Davies director Amanda Davidson, who sits on the CFEB interim board, has also welcomed the appointment of Lemos.
She says: “This is a huge social issue and there is evidence to show that if people are more in control of their finances they are more in control of their wellbeing and that has a big impact on our society. There is a great social benefit to educating people in finance.”
Lemos says he intends to use his new role to help change the behaviour of people across the UK.
He says: “The Consumer Financial Education Body has a huge opportunity to make a difference and change the behaviour of the nation. Its mission has incredible significance – if people are able to manage their finances better, the social benefits for the UK will be enormous.”