The Money Advice Service (MAS) recently held its second Financial Capability Week. Using the hashtag #Talkmoney, it simply encouraged people to talk more widely about financial issues.

The press release from the MAS highlighted a number of indications that UK consumers are unwilling to talk about financial issues, including:

  • 6 in 10 consumers of working age don’t seek assistance when they experience a life event that could have an adverse impact on their financial situation
  • Only 50% of people are aware of the existence of free or low-cost financial support services in the UK
  • Parents and guardians of children are 31% more likely to seek assistance, compared to those with no children
  • 18 million UK adults lack the numeracy skills required to effectively manage their finances

Events that took place during Financial Capability Week included:

  • A #TalkMoney Conference, where speakers included the Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, Guy Opperman MP, and the founder of both the Money Saving Expert consumer website and the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, Martin Lewis
  • A series of webinars run by The Improvement Service in Scotland to share examples of best practice with organisations delivering various forms of financial support
  • The Tech City ‘Fintech for All’ Awards, rewarding FinTech start-ups for their innovative money management interventions
  • Peer support sessions on money management for carers, delivered by The Friendly Society

David Haigh, Director of Financial Capability at the Money Advice Service said:

“We’re thrilled to see the momentum behind the second Financial Capability Week and the Talk Money Conference. As research clearly shows, the UK is facing a whole raft of challenges when it comes to managing money.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure future generations are armed with the skills and confidence they need to manage their money. It’s great to see organisations across the UK joining in support of this goal and we hope that the events taking place throughout the week will help ensure people across the nation will ultimately become more financially capable.”

Financial Capability Week is part of the wider Financial Capability Strategy, which is aimed at “improving people’s ability to manage money well, both day to day and through significant life events, and their ability to handle periods of financial difficulty.”

The introduction to the Strategy document notes that:

  • 12 million people are not putting aside enough for a comfortable retirement
  • 27 million don’t have a sufficiently large emergency fund to enable them to cope with a financial shock, and 21 million have less than £500 in savings for emergency purposes
  • Only half of families have any life cover at all
  • 19 million don’t have an approach to budgeting that they feel works
  • 8 million are experiencing some form of debt problem, but only one in six of these is receiving assistance with their debts

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.