In a report released yesterday, 26 June 2019, the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) is calling on the retail banking sector to consider that:
From savings goal-setting pots to spending analysis tools and features to find better energy deals, the retail banking sector has made significant inroads to help customers improve their financial wellbeing, but more must be done to achieve significant change in the nation’s ability to manage their money, says the Money and Pensions Service.
Currently, 9 million people in the UK are struggling with problem debt, 11.5 million do not even have £100 in savings, and a further 24 million people do not feel confident making decisions about financial products and services.
Low financial capability is contributing to tens of millions of people in the UK lacking the resilience needed to deal with unexpected events such as job loss or the death of a family member. Problem debt can have a profound effect on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) is trying to address these challenges through working in partnership with the retail banking sector.
At an event yesterday (26 June 2019) to discuss their new report for the retail banking sector, Transforming customer wellbeing – What can retail banking do to build financial capability?, MaPS called on banks to put customers’ financial wellbeing at the centre of their corporate purpose and to ensure their products and services include features to help people improve their ability to manage their money well.
Based on interviews with employees across 19 banks, building societies, fintechs and one credit union, the report demonstrates that while the sector has made progress with good-practice features built into current and savings accounts, there is room for improvement and greater take-up across the sector.
Case study examples within the report include:
Sir Hector Sants, Chair of the Money and Pensions Service said: “Money is a fundamental part of life and is central to people’s health and wellbeing. A population that can manage their money and pensions well is essential, and the retail banking sector has a critical and central role to play in moving the dials for the UK population. It is time for the sector to take a much more proactive, holistic approach to financial wellbeing, shifting the balance from the cost of remediation to investment in prevention.
“We encourage the sector to work with us to develop and implement the changes needed to improve people’s financial capability, as well as rebuilt trust and confidence in financial services.”
MaPS has recently held a UK-wide programme of listening events, calling on organisations to discuss views on everything from pocket money to pensions, and help create a new National Strategy for money and pensions, as well as the organisation’s three-year corporate plan. The new report offers another touchpoint for the retail banking sector to engage with the MaPS and feed into the organisation’s development of the National Strategy, to be released later this year.
The full report can be viewed here: https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/2019/06/05/transforming-customer-wellbeing-what-can-retail-banking-do-to-build-financial-capability/
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Notes to editors:
- IFF Research (www.iffresearch.com) conducted interviews with 42 employees across the 19 firms between October 2018 and January 2019. Participants were from major banks and building societies, mid-tier banks and building societies, and challenger banks/fintechs and one credit union. Participants were typically current accounts/ savings accounts product managers at middle to senior management levels.
About the Money and Pensions Service
The Money and Pensions Service vision is people making the most of their money and pensions.
The new organisation brings together the free services delivered by the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.
The Arms-Length organisation is sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, with a joint commitment to ensuring that people have access and guidance to the information they need to make effective financial decisions over their lifetime. The organisation also engages with HM Treasury, which is responsible for policy on financial capability and debt advice.
Working hand-in-hand with stakeholders throughout the UK, the Money and Pensions Service ensures that money and pensions guidance is available to those that need it, adapting to people’s changing needs throughout their lives, offering services and appointments over the telephone, online and in person where appropriate.
The Money and Pensions Service is also responsible for delivering and overseeing pensions dashboards, to help people access their pensions information online, in partnership with the DWP. An industry delivery group will be brought together by the Money and Pensions Service, and during 2019 will set out a clear timetable and roadmap to drive progress towards fully operational dashboards.
For further information for stakeholders, they should visit the Money and Pensions Service website www.moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk Consumers can continue to access free guidance about their money and pensions via the following websites and help lines:
www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk / 0800 138 7777
www.thepensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk / 0800 011 3797
www.pensionwise.gov.uk / 0800 138 3944