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Press comment: Government urged to 'tackle the epidemic of financial illiteracy'


If you are covering the Financial Lives Survey published today by the Financial Conduct Authority, please see the following comment from Old Mutual Wealth responsible business director Jane Goodland: 

Jane Goodland“Today’s landmark report from the financial watchdog uncovers an astonishing catalogue of financial struggles.

“Steps must be taken to tackle the financial problems faced by UK adults but that will only treat the symptoms of financial difficulty and not the root cause, which can be found in our lack of financial literacy. Research shows that like many behaviours, our attitudes to money are shaped at a young age. The Money Advice Service has shown that many key financial habits are set by the age of 7. I urge the government to give serious consideration to introducing financial education onto the primary school curriculum in order to tackle the epidemic of financial illiteracy which plights families across the country*.

“Today’s report shows a terrifying 4.1 million have failed to pay bills or credit commitments in three or more of the last six months, 3.5 million Brits are borrowing from friends and family to make ends meet and only just over a third (35%) of those age 45-54 having prepared for retirement. Much of this comes down to poor financial literacy with  46% of all UK adults saying they have limited financial knowledge, 17 million adults with car insurance saying they don’t understand the meaning of ‘no claims’ and two million UK adults say they cannot understand their annual pension statement.

“These are shocking statistics and merit serious examination from government, which should be extremely concerned about the threat to our national prosperity posed by such a staggering level of financial difficulty. The financial services sector, government and FCA all have a responsibility to address these challenges.”


*Old Mutual Wealth supports KickStart Money, the collaborative project that aims to take financial education to over 18,000 primary school children and support calls for financial education to become a compulsory element of the Primary National Curriculum.

For more information contact

Michael GlenisterOld Mutual Wealth020 7778 963807469
Kathleen GallagherOld Mutual Wealth023 8072 629307990

Notes to editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £118.1 billion in customer investments (as at 30 September 2018).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Wealth Platforms and Advice and Wealth Management.

Wealth Platforms includes the Old Mutual Wealth UK Platform; Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore; and the Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial planning network, Intrinsic; Quilter Private Client Advisers; discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

The Quilter plc businesses are being re-branded to Quilter over a period of approximately two years:

• The Multi-asset business is now Quilter Investors

• Intrinsic to Quilter Financial Planning

• The private client advisers business is now Quilter Private Client Advisers

• The UK Platform to Quilter Wealth Solutions

• The International business to Quilter International

• The Heritage life assurance business to Quilter Life Assurance

• Quilter Cheviot will retain its name

This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers.

Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back any of the amount originally invested. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of overseas investments to rise or fall.

This communication is issued by Quilter plc.  Registered office: Millennium Bridge House, 2 Lambeth Hill, London EC4V 4AJ, United Kingdom. Registered number: 6404270.  Registered in England.