Evaluation Scotland Wales
The UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing is taking forward the work of the Financial Capability Strategy Opens in a new window

19 million people don’t have an approach to budgeting that they feel works

Financial services

  • 22% of people could not read the balance on a bank statement
  • 20 million adults with a current account don’t know their account balance within £50
  • Nearly nine million people are over indebted

Money is a hot topic – who has it, who doesn’t, and how the financial choices we all make today will impact not only our own future, but the future economy of the UK.

Having control over personal financial affairs means that individuals are more able to access employment, they are protected against unexpected events, they enjoy better physical and mental health and can save for the future.

Facts and challenges

  • 12 million people aren’t saving enough for their retirement
  • 27 million of us in the UK don’t have a sufficient savings buffer to allow them to cope with a significant income shock
  • Only half of those with families have any life cover
  • Many UK adults don’t have the resilience to deal with day-to-day events
  • 12.4 million adults would have to borrow or could not pay when faced with an unexpected £300 bill, for example to replace a fridge or have the car mended
  • 19 million people don’t have an approach to budgeting that they feel works and too many are in financial difficulties
  • 8.99 million people - 17% of UK adults - are over indebted, but only around a third receive help.

What are the benefits of financial capability for financial services?

Technology has revolutionised the way people manage their money, and the responsibility for financial decisions is increasingly shifting towards the individual. However, people need help to make the choices that are right for them, and to understand the consequences of the choices they are making.

With the necessary knowledge, people will be able to better understand financial products, the risks associated with them and be in a better place to make sound, long-term financial decisions and avoid falling victim to scams.

If people are more financially capable they make better financial decisions and choose the correct financial products for their needs.

In turn, this means there will be fewer calls to regulators about mis-selling, lower default rates on debts and greater confidence in financial services, as consumers engage more with providers, also helping them to develop new products.

Greater financial confidence will also encourage people to think further ahead and set your goals and plans for the future.

Download the report: Transforming customer wellbeing - what can retail banking do to build financial capability?

How can this site help?

  • Increase your knowledge about your customer’s needs through our insight research
  • Provide data from our research to support the business case for introducing financial capability into your organisation, products and services
  • Share information on how to evaluate your work with guidance and templates in our Evaluation Toolkit
  • Show what interventions have worked for other organisations from our 65 What Works Fund projects
  • Help identify gaps and inform product and market research
  • Offer opportunities to provide thought leadership on financial capability topics in the steering groups
  • Use the evidence from our Evidence Hubopens in new window to inform your own financial capability projects.