Money Guidance Developments

Money Guidance is a consumer information service on money matters that was created in partnership between the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and HM Treasury. It is intended to be free and impartial.

Its provenance is a little longer than that, however. It comes out of the The International Gateway for Financial Education (IGFE) which was established by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The main objective of the service is to improve the ‘financial competence’ of you and me. To that end a whole series of programmes are being developed, including those to be used in schools.

A new website has been launched by the financial Services Authority (FSA) which offers financial information for young adults. What About Money (http://www.whataboutmoney.info), has been designed to give guidance about obtaining, saving and spending money.

At a first look I would say it is a good start, but needs far far more in the way of advice from the FSA or, better still, from Citizen’s Advice. Hardly surprising that two-thirds of young people are not planning ahead, but quite shocking that 80% of young people are in debt by the age of 21.

Well, the site is a good start, but as most of my teachers used to put ‘must do better’. Especially if it is to meet the aim of helping ‘younger people become more financially capable’.

Money Made Clear http://www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk/ is a more comprehensive offering from the FSA. While quite basic it does seem comprehensive and genuinely advisory.

On http://www.fsa.gov.uk/financial_capability/ there is a deal of material that will help both individuals and organisations in learning and teaching about money matters.

Organisations on the steering group include CBI, Association of Independent Financial Advisers, Citizens Advice, Food Standards Agency, TUC, Personal Finance Education as well as a number of companies in the money field.

‘Money Guidance Pathfinder: The path ahead’ was a conference held from Sunday to Tuesday 20-22 July in Cambridge. Its main objectives were to find how best to reach and engage with those who could benefit most from Money Guidance; the best way of delivering tailored guidance; how to use digital technology to support the face-to-face service; and evaluating the success of the pathfinder project.

I have seen no information about what was achieved at the conference, but I am sure we will see some benefits ahead.

I am mostly quite cynical about the money world, but I must say that the FSA and the Office of Fair Trading have done a great deal to support the position of consumers. To combine that with the most importance consumer protection charity – Citizens Advice Bureaux – promises a far better future for the limitation of money woes.

Joseph Harris
Debt Control Man

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