Banking Standards Commission highlights importance of financial education

pfeg has welcomed the Bank Standard Commission’s focus on the importance of financial education in its final report, published today.


In its report, the Commission noted that “more informed consumers can ... be empowered to challenge banks who try to mis-sell, contrary to their best interests.  More importantly, financially literate consumers are able to exercise informed choice and impose market discipline on banks”  (Volume 2, pg.273) The report cites evidence submitted by pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group) on the link between high quality financial education in schools and consumer empowerment (Volume 2, pg.275).


pfeg chief executive Tracey Bleakley said: “The Commission is right to highlight the role of financial education in creating informed consumers able to challenge companies who try to mis-sell or act contrary to their best interests.


“We need to ensure that future generations of consumers have the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to be make savvy consumer decisions, and avoid products that are unsuitable for them.  Securing a place for personal finance in the new draft National Curriculum for secondary schools from September 2014 will have a big impact in this area.


“However, we know from our work on the ground that for financial education to be most effective it needs to start from a young age.  Recent research from the Money Advice Service has confirmed that adult financial habits are set by the age of just seven years old.  This is why we need to ensure that financial education is taught in all primary schools, as well as at secondary level, allowing children to build up their knowledge and skills as they progress through the education system.”


Financial education was included in the new draft National Curriculum for England for secondary schools in February, following a two-year campaign led by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Education for Young People, chaired by Justin Tomlinson MP, pfeg and’s Martin Lewis.


In April pfeg outlined its next campaigning priorities, calling on financial education to be extended to primary schools and to the growing number of Academies and Free Schools not bound to follow the National Curriculum.


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