Treasury promises to improve financial literacy

school kid

The Treasury has launched plans to improve the financial capability of
consumers with a free generic advice service and increased financial education
in schools.

Economic secretary Ed
announced yesterday that Otto Thoresen, chief executive of
AEGON UK, is to head a
taskforce reporting to a ministerial group he is to lead that will be tasked
with putting the generic advice service in place by 2012.

Balls said the government believes it is vital to address a general lack of
understanding about long-term savings and investment products, and underpin the
increased use of personal savings accounts and the low-cost pension savings

Balls said: ‘We want everyone in society to have access to, and use,
financial services with confidence’.

He said a package based around the Child Trust Fund will include new teaching
aids for schools and more support from financial bodies in order to improve
financial literacy.

Pensions reform minister James Purnell said generic financial advice must be
available to help employees decide whether to opt in to the new personal;
savings accounts and consider how to invest their money.

The move was welcomed by Financial Services Authority chief executive John
Tiner. He said it would complement the FSA’s own national strategy for financial
capability, with 500 schools signed up to Learning Money Matters.

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