What is Financial Capability?
Financial Capability is about helping people understand the importance of money and having the skills and confidence to manage and use it wisely. It means being prepared for a rainy day, saving in a safe place, having the appropriate insurance cover and being prepared for your retirement.
The Consumer Council leads the Northern Ireland Financial Capability Partnership which brings together government, banks, building societies, credit unions, education and community groups to ensure that we all help consumers in Northern Ireland to manage their money and make it work best for them. The Financial Service Authority provides much-needed research, input and resources to help the partnership create financially ‘savvy’ consumers. Click here for a list of members
The Vision Setting Event
In February 2008, the Consumer Council and Financial Services Authority bought together all stakeholders involved in financial capability in Northern Ireland to create a joint vision and set priority actions for the NI Financial Capability Partnership. It was agreed the overall Vision of the Partnership would be: Together create more financially capable people in Northern Ireland and be able to measure change.
Managing Money – How Does Northern Ireland Add Up? a recent research report from the Consumer Council has revealed that consumers here are bottom of the UK league when it comes to having financial savvy.
∑ A third of people believe they are only one month away from financial hardship should they face an unexpected expense or drop in income
∑ Half did not hold any insurance to cover loss of income or property
∑ More than a quarter of people said they did not use any information at all prior to choosing a financial product such as opening a bank account, taking out a loan or getting a mortgage.
∑ One in five people felt it was not important at all to keep up to date with financial matters.
Northern Ireland's First Money Week
The Consumer Council launched Northern Ireland's first Money Week in Coleraine. It ran from the 24 to 30 November 2008 to provide practical help and innovative solutions for consumers to help make their money work for them.
Money Week consisted of a programme of events organised by the NI Financial Capability Partnership (the Partnership) in association with Coleraine Borough Council. The events included working with pupils and teachers in schools, young people in colleges and university, and employees in their workplace. By working together we hoped to help consumers take control of their finances where they can.
Related Press Releases
- Consumer Council Statement On Northern Bank's New Account For Young People, November 2007
- Farepak - An Unfair Deal For Savers, October 2007
- Northern Ireland Consumers Worst At Managing Money, September 2007
- NI Consumers Are Key To A Vibrant Economy, June 2007
- Customers Get Their Say on Farepak, February 2007
- Avoiding Debt through Education, February 2006
- Don’t let Debt take Control. November 2005
- Financial Capability Event
In February 2006, the Consumer Council organised a conference at Stormont in conjunction with Financial Services Authority and the Central Anti-Poverty Unit of the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister which brought together 100 delegates representing government, political parties, financial services industry and the community and voluntary. An important outcome of this event was the agreement to set up a Northern Ireland Financial Capability Strategic Partnership.
- Financial Capability Vision Setting: 7th and 8th February 2008
Objectives of the event:
To create a joint vision of Financial Capability in Northern Ireland
To set priority actions for the NI Financial Capability Partnership
To build a strategic financial capability alliance across private, public and voluntary and community sectors
- The Council produces information and resources to teach personal finance:
- Financial Capability Schools Quiz,
- Money Tips For Parents - English, Irish, Portuguese and Polish
- Home Budget Planner
- The National Strategy for Financial Capability
- If you are a teacher and require further information, visit the Pfeg website - a one stop shop for teaching resources.