Licence fees from the FairLife Mark fund financial education. We want the next generation of children to understand finance, like this generation understands technology. There is no reason this cannot be done and a pressing need for doing it.
Schools, Colleges, Universities and Financial Education Providers can all apply for the FairLife Mark. Gain recognition for your commitment to helping your students develop the knowledge and life skills they need to make good financial decisions throughout their lives.
Why improving financial education matters
The need for financial education is well documented. It’s not just technical knowledge; it’s about good habits like budgeting and saving. Financial education grows people’s self esteem and life chances, making it a primary driver of social sustainability.
It is more important now than ever, as people are becoming more responsible for their financial wellbeing. Responsibility without education is a recipe for poorer outcomes, as noted by Martin Lewis in 2016:
”We need financial education in the UK. We are one of the world’s most competitive consumer economies and that means we have an awfully large amount of choices to make. The people who have financial education tend to be better engaged, better informed, better able and more rounded citizens and better employees.1”
The current statitics are stark and compelling:
90% of people in the UK have received no financial education.
40% are not in control of their finances leading to financial insecurity 2.
30% are not saving enough for retirement, with two thirds not understanding how much they need to save 3.
25% use high interest rate credit facilities when other options are available 3.
20% could not read a bank statement 3.
Let’s help our children better understand the language of finance and the importance of sound financial management. Those who do will grow in confidence, as their knowledge of this practical subject increases, emerging as financially responsible adults.
Evidence suggests that children’s long-term attitudes to money can be formed early in life, so the sooner we can get children thinking about money the better.
1. Martin Lewis speaking at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People (2016).
2. Money Advice Service (2015).
3. David Whitebread, Cambridge University, (2016)
Link to fair trading
Using the same fair-trading mark when teaching financial education in schools helps children to see that it is an real-World topic - one their parents have to deal with every day. That makes it easier to teach and easier to learn. The fair-trading mark also ensures that the industry acts to support the education programme and does not invent new ways to profit unreasonably.
Finance can be complex, this is sometimes necessary to offer consumer choice. Fairly traded products seek to minimise the complexity and never use it deliberately to boost profits. A good example of how FairLife is linking fair trading with financial education is its goal to introduce standardised terminology that can be taught in FairLife schools. The use of misleading terms in exploiting customers was highlighted by a campaign called “Stop the Sneaky Fees”, but this stopped short of providing a remedy.
Other ways that fair trading and financial education are intrinsically linked include:
a) Fair traded products should be easier to understand, but a customer’s understanding reflects their financial education.
b) A fair trading mark does not imply suitability or price-based value. These are personal decisions, ideally based on financial education.
c) FairLife Schools, teaching industry-agreed terms, solves two key problems:
I. Companies will struggle to promote benefits that consumers don’t understand.
II. Schools will struggle to teach financial education if providers deliberately move the goal posts.
d) If industry embraces fair trading, consumers should be taught to trust it. If industry shuns fair trading, consumers should be taught how to avoid or deal with it.
e) The FairLife Mark helps children to see that financial education is a real-World topic. It is something their school and parents have to deal with every day. That makes it easier to learn and easier to remember.
f) To be of value to good providers, the FairLife Mark needs public recognition. Spanning all areas of finance and financial education with the same FairLife Mark will create a trusted household-name brand.
A Virtuous Circle
Linking fair trading and financial education creates a virtuous circle that builds both knowledge and trust; knowledge to know what you need and trust in the products you rely on.
Financial education helps customers to appreciate fairly-traded products.
As more FairLife products are sold, the funding to financial education rises.
The virtuous circle leads to a society where trusted companies offer great products to financially educated consumers. That is the FairLife Charity’s vision