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15th February 2024

financial education

With millions of children in the UK lacking sufficient financial education to carry them through into adulthood, Ascot Lloyd is encouraging its financial advisers to step up and give back.

The biggest cost of living squeeze in 40 years, now having endured for over two years, has put into sharp focus the critical importance of astute money management. It has also exposed a lack of financial literacy in the UK, driven in part by insufficient financial education in schools.

Less than half of children (47%) have been taught about money at home or in school, according to research from the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), which estimates based on the figures that 5.4 million under-18s lack the financial skills they’ll need in adulthood. Those who have, MaPS found, are more likely to save, feel confident about money and use a bank account.

The desire among children to learn more is evident. A study by the London Institute of Banking & Finance last year found that 82% of young people want to be taught more about finance in school but very few have regular access. Only 8% cited school as their main source of financial education and 70% said the cost of living crisis has made them feel more worried about money.

Volunteering at schools

Through its CSR strategy, Ascot Lloyd is determined to help change that. Good financial education gives young people the skills they need to make their money go further, plan for a successful future and avoid getting into problem debt. As such, Ascot Lloyd is committed to utilising its resources to deliver free financial education sessions to secondary school pupils.

One of the ways the company does this is by encouraging its financial advisers to volunteer at schools local to them to offer their expertise. All Ascot Lloyd employees are offered one extra day of paid leave each year for charitable giving and the company is working with two financial education providers, CII and STEMPOINT, to help match advisers with opportunities in schools.

The CII’s pro bono initiative My Personal Finance Skills delivers free financial education workshops to students through a network of ‘Education Champions’ – professional members who are committed to giving something back to their local community. Since September 2019, over 600 workshops have taken place across the UK reaching over 18,000 students aged 14-18. Themes include understanding personal finances, staying safe from financial scams, navigating deductions on payslips and how attitudes to risk impact financial decision making.

STEMPOINT, meanwhile, is an educational charity who run the STEM ambassador scheme, which has 37,000 volunteers nationally who visit schools, colleges and youth group organisations to help children learn life skills. Insights and expertise from experts such as financial advisers can help springboard young people into the next chapter of their lives.

Caroline CastleCaroline Castle“It’s about trying to create more of a rounded education for youngsters,” says Caroline Castle, Corporate Financial Adviser at Ascot Lloyd and volunteer through CII’s programme. “There’s a section about financial wellbeing and how students can understand more about money. We describe what a pension is, what national insurance does and what tax is used for. They also focus on borrowing because it’s a risk area. We discuss the difference between credit cards and debit cards, and that you can have bad borrowing but also good borrowing, such as a mortgage.

“From 18 onwards they will be able to access credit and buy-now-pay-later payment options like Klarna, so we talked about the knock-on effects of interest rates. It’s crucial they understand the implications of this early. The session was really good. It was interactive; a combination of me presenting bite-sized topics and an activity to demonstrate learning and to produce questions.

“I thoroughly enjoy doing it. If you can start to lay some ground rules down and get them to think more realistically about money, budgeting and the cost of things, it can make a big difference to young people’s lives. When Ascot Lloyd provides the initiative and keeps reminding us we have this paid-for day for charitable giving it's a really great impetus to offer our expertise and knowledge to give back to the local community. I’ll definitely continue doing it because it’s important and I get a lot of satisfaction from feeling I have made a difference to the youngsters.”

Inspiring the next generation

Also among the financial advisers who have offered their expertise to the financial education programmes is Lindsay Carter, who has been supporting clients at Ascot Lloyd for almost ten years. To Lindsay, she is passionate not just about empowering young people with the financial skills to thrive in life but also promoting a career in financial advice to the younger generation.

Lindsay CarterLindsay Carter“In the financial services industry, especially financial advisors, there is quite a big group of us in our 50s and 60s so in the next ten years there are going to be a lot of financial advisers retiring,” she says. “We need new people to come in. I've got a 17-year-old daughter and her friends ask what's a financial advisor? They don't know. They need to be aware this career is available to them. Going into schools helps grow that awareness while also educating them about money.

“Financial education is so important and I think we need to see much more of it. I wish when I was in school that financial education was properly on the curriculum but it wasn't, and that’s still largely the case today. Poor financial education in children carries through to poor financial education in adults. I often speak with adults who haven't done the most basic of things to manage their finances. So it’s really great that Ascot Lloyd as an employer is encouraging us to volunteer in our local community to ensure youngsters are getting a better financial education.”

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Important Information

This communication is issued by Capital Professional Limited, trading as Ascot Lloyd.  Ground Floor Reading Bridge House, George Street, Reading, England, RG1 8LS.  Capital Professional Limited is registered in England and Wales (number 07584487) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 578614).