Consumers ultimately must make their own financial decisions about how and when to spend, save, borrow, insure and invest. However, one of the features of the financial services industry is information asymmetry: providers know more about their products than consumers.
Given the complexity of financial services, information asymmetry is unavoidable but there are ways of reducing it. There are also clear social benefits in building a more financially aware and engaged population, capable of taking responsibility for their long and short term financial decisions. Doing so will not be easy and calls for careful thought.
Our responsible consumers theme will address these and other topics.
The ICAEW volunteer project Boosting Financial Capability in schools was set up with pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group) and GE Money to help raise the standard of financial education in classrooms.
The project has been successfully trialled in the West Midlands and works by matching teachers' experience with volunteers' expertise. Experience from this project will contribute to the Financial Services Faculty's thought leadership work.