“Whilst breathing space for those struggling with problem debt is welcome, we cannot avoid tackling the fundamental issue of a massive gap in UK financial capability.
“The new ‘breathing space’ scheme is yet another example of symptomatic treatment of consumer financial problems. In recent years we have seen numerous interventions designed to tackle the consequences of financial difficulty, from the FCA stepping-in to cap payday lending costs to a ban on pension cold-calling.
“These measures are admirable and will help protect vulnerable consumers. Nonetheless, they are a sticking-plaster to the symptoms of a lack of knowledge and capability when it comes to managing our financial lives. Last week’s FCA survey of consumer financial wellbeing highlighted yawning gaps in our financial knowledge, and these need to be addressed in order to empower people to enhance their own financial health.
“In order to tackle the root cause of financial struggle, more needs to be done to improve financial capability across the board, starting with an effective programme of financial education integrated into the primary school curriculum.”
Old Mutual Wealth supports KickStart Money, a ground-breaking collaborative project that aims to take financial education to over 18,000 primary school children and supports calls for financial education to become a compulsory element of the Primary National Curriculum.