Children taking part in the North Lanarkshire Money and Consumer Advice Project

First Financial Capability Week highlights UK money concerns

 

The UK’s first Financial Capability week is taking place from 14 – 20 November, aiming to raise awareness about what financial capability means, its importance, and the organisations involved in making a difference.

 

Levels of financial capability across the UK remain stubbornly low. The 2015 Financial Capability Survey found that forty percent of adults are not in control of their finances, one in five cannot read a bank statement, and four in ten have less than £500 in savings. These figures indicate that millions of people across the nation lack the financial resilience to deal with unexpected financial shocks and life events. As such, many individuals are at risk of falling into uncontrollable levels of debt or suffering from other financial difficulties.

 

Financial Capability Week features events and activities designed to highlight issues around financial capability and the organisations already tackling them to policy makers and the media. The week is organised under the umbrella of the Financial Capability Strategy (read the strategy for Scotland) and is coordinated by the government-based Money Advice Service.

 

As part of its own work in this area, the Improvement Service’s Money Advice Outcomes Project has published several case studies highlighting initiatives aimed at increasing financial capability:

 

  • West Lothian’s Money Week is a partnership initiative forming part of West Lothian Council’s ‘Better Off’ Anti-Poverty Strategy. The sixth Money Week was held in October 2016 and events focused on effective budgeting and money management. View some of the materials and hear what participants had to say in the case study. Donald Forrest, Head of Finance and Property Services, also shares his advice for others considering starting their own Money Week.

    This year, Angus Council is also hosting its own Money Week, to coincide with Financial Capability week.

 

  • North Lanarkshire Council’s Money and Consumer Advice (MACA) initiative is specifically aimed at increasing the financial capability of children and young people. MACA project sessions are held in both primary and secondary schools, and take a preventative approach towards potential future financial problems.

 

More case studies are available on the Money Advice Outcomes Project pages.

 

You can follow all of the activities taking place during Financial Capability Week on Twitter using the hashtag #FinCapWeek and can keep up to date with the work of the Money Advice Outcomes Project via its Twitter account.