“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.