In the Datafest 2018 we have discussed with a group of experts the main issues that affect Financial Health, and we propose the following improvements:
Financial education is at the core of Financial Health. We should get our first lessons in first grade and after when we transition through adolescence, early adulthood, midlife and retirement. Tina Harrison said, “kids build important behaviours before they are 7 years old and it is important they learn key money matters by that age”. We agree that schools, universities and the workplace are the best places to provide financial education.
Financial education helps us to maintain our lifestyle and gives us confidence to seek help when we need it. Emma-Jayne Turner said “financial issues are a taboo topic, we need to talk about money openly and without prejudices” while Steven Bond highlighted that “there are people with poor financial literacy across all educational backgrounds”.
Consumers need to access their financial data in a simple, friendly and jargon-free format. Euan Robertson pointed that “traditional banks have not been the best platform to promote financial awareness as they are structured around products, not customers”. However, mobile banks are building their products using behavioural finances to encourage healthy money management.
Open Banking will be also a major force improving financial health. Consumers will be able to have a complete picture of their financial situation and many new use-cases are yet to come. For example, Jo Watts proposed that “transactional analysis could potentially be utilised to identify deteriorating mental capability to provide additional support for vulnerable customers”.
We need to boost collaboration across all stakeholders to improve Financial Health in the UK. Research institutions, fintech companies and large financial providers need to collaborate to develop content, product and services that make personal finances simpler and more accessible. Meanwhile, schools, universities, companies and local communities should encourage Financial education across their members.
If you want to learn more about the Financial Health Project or collaborate please contact us!