Halifax has announced it is stepping on board the government's pilot project to test the efficacy of...
Halifax has announced it is stepping on board the government's pilot project to test the efficacy of measures intended to boost the savings ratio among the country's lower income earners.
The so-called Savings Gateway will target consumers in four disadvantaged areas of the country to see whether proposals to match savings with government money on a pound-for-pound basis will result in more income being saved.
Consumers will be allowed to save up to a maximum of £25 per month up to a maximum of £375 over the 18-month period of the pilot project.
The government will match any money saved with the equivalent amount, i.e., up to another £375.
One the pilot is complete, it is intended that the Savings Gateway will allow people to save up to a maximum of £1,000, although the matching ratio and the question of tax relief have not yet been decided according to Halifax.
Halifax will also be engaged with the operations in the four pilot locations run by the Department for Education and Skills in association with local organisations, in which savers will receive financial advice.
Although the company does not say so, it is likely that data from its experiences in the project could be used to provide guidance on the costs of providing financial advice to those on incomes too low to be part of the IFA industry's current customer base.
That could give it a lead in the post-de-polarised world in which the government wants financial services providers to offer services to a wider spectrum of the population in order to facilitate the switch away from state pensions.
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