How a new FT campaign will provide financial knowledge to those who need it most
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I have worked across the public and third sectors for over a decade. In the NHS, I saw how debt can affect our physical and mental health. Supporting victims of fraud, I saw the effect it had on people’s finances and their trust in others. But I also experienced the enthusiasm of young people learning about finance, their recognition of the knowledge gap they faced. Arming people with the right information can be life changing.
The FT Financial Literacy and Inclusion Campaign
In the short term, FT Financial Literacy and Inclusion Campaign (FT FLIC) work is clear: to improve financial literacy education where the need is most acute. Amid growing inequalities exacerbated by austerity and the pandemic, the public is increasingly aware of the need for financial resilience. Our aim is to provide the financial knowledge which can protect and empower those who need it most.
Our success will be gauged by our ability to have a measurable impact on financial literacy. Our ambitious goals must be clear and achievable — producing new and curating the best existing information with partner organisations. Our initial focus will be on the UK, though we aim to expand globally.
Until banking and finance is more effectively regulated, initiatives like FT FLIC must combat the ways in which society makes it so expensive to be poor, the so-called “poverty premium”. We will campaign for policy and practice improvement, at the institutional level, to better protect consumers. At the grassroots, we aim to ensure the building blocks of money management are offered to all young people. For those who were excluded from this when growing up, we want to ensure they can access simple, comprehensive and, if necessary, bespoke learning resources to build knowledge and confidence. We want learning to manage your money to become as common as learning to ride a bicycle.
Following months of planning and research, we have identified some of the organisations already working to improve financial literacy. Complementing and bolstering these offerings, we will amplify the voices of those who know their community’s needs best. I am excited to learn from our talented board of trustees, partners and supporters, and am confident that we can promote financial literacy where need is most acute, contributing to significant impact across UK society and beyond.
Aimée Allam is executive director of FT FLIC