Financial literacy in the UK – shocking statistics

Michelle Highman, chief executive of national money education charity Credit Action, when asked about the future of financial literacy in the UK said:

“People just don’t understand their balances,” she says. “Something like a bank account is quite a technical document and the report (The MAS report) does say there has been an increase in full disclosure but sometimes that can be too much information.”

Financial literacy in the UK, SHOCKING STATISTICS!

Bank Statement

  • 16% of the population can’t read a bank statement and three in 10 can’t pick the best out of three individual savings accounts.(The MAS report)

Bank interest rate

  • 12% of adults, rising to 17% of under-35s, believed the current Bank of England base rate stood at more than 10%. The base rate currently stands at 0.25%.(The MAS report)

Personal finance

  • Two-thirds of people in the UK feel too confused to make the right choices about their money and more than a third say they don‘t have the right skills to properly manage their cash. (Learn direct Study, cited in Credit Action. Debt Facts and Figures)
  • According to research carried out by ING Group for Personal Finance Education Group, just 5% of UK adults believe that young people are currently leaving school with the financial skills and knowledge they need to manage their finances. This compares unfavorably with the experiences of the adults surveyed, with more than three times as many (16%) believing they had left school adequately equipped to manage money well.
  • Children are increasingly exposed to money issues at a very young age. The study by the Personal Finance Education Group (Analysis of online survey prepared for All-Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry 2015), found that almost all (98%) of the 11-17-year-olds they spoke to had money of their own. This implies a need to manage and control money from an early age.

Financial terms

  • A survey by the UK Payments Council has found a notable lack of knowledge around the meaning of some of the most common financial terms, for example, only 36% of people understand that the term APR relates to payments. This falls further to 31% amongst young people aged 18-34.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said the new national curriculum would make financial literacy compulsory for the first time, as part of citizenship for 11 to 16-year-olds.

He added: “Pupils will be taught the importance of budgeting, of sound management of money, credit, and debt, as well as the understanding of different financial services and products. The new mathematics curriculum will also ensure that all young people leave school with an understanding of the maths needed for personal finance.”

But what parents should know is that financial literacy is best taught at an even earlier age than 11 years old… Read more 

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