Improving consumer understanding of financial services should be done through a dedicated "Financial Education Agency" funded by a levy on the industry and through lottery funding, argues the Association of Investment Trust Companies.
Its proposed agency would coordinate financial education nationwide through involvement with local education authorities, operating within a similar structure to the Financial Ombudsman Service - falling under the umbrella of the FSA, but with a separate management, board and budget, the AITC says.
Coordinating an approach to financial educations would provide better outcomes, the association believes, although it is the funding issue that is most important to ensure.
Current commitments of financing from companies and organisations towards education is important, but the funding question would be better met through a levy coupled with lottery money, a spokesperson says.
Additionally, the levy ought to include companies providing credit, which is why the association feels an amendment should be included in the Consumer Credit Bill currently going through Parliament.
Lottery funding would be particularly suitable given the propensity for people to play the game on the basis of "unrealistic financial expectations".
The proposal as it stands does not mean the AITC is seeking to undo the role of education charity Personal Finance Education Group, PFEG, which has been working with government towards including personal finance on the national curriculum.
The AITC also has no specific timeframe for implementing its funding proposal, although “the longer it takes the less likely it may be to reach intended outcomes.”IFAonline
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