Kate Hughes: Legacy lessons still have not been learned

 

In case you missed it amid the infectious enthusiasm of the "Hoy" polloi, this week marked the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the credit crunch. Sixty months, 260 weeks or, give or take, 1825 days that has required tough money management, clever budgeting and a bit of hoping for the best just to keep many of us afloat. So have we, the banks, the regulators and the government, learned our lesson yet? It seems not.

As the parliamentary inquiry on banking standards prepares to get under way in earnest, and another swathe of banking scandals comes to light, a Which? report has found 71 per cent of people still don't think UK banks have learned their lesson from the financial crisis, up from 61 per cent in September 2011.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, consumers continue to bear the brunt of the recession with the same Which? wellbeing survey showing that nearly half are worried about mortgage rates and the level of their household debt.

They might be right to worry. Although the average unsecured household debt had been holding a fairly consistent downward trend until January 2012, this year it has started to creep back up, Credit Action has found.

With this level of financial fear, it's no surprise that yet more research has found the over-35s would be keen to provide financial advice to give their younger selves, from saving earlier to dealing with debt, says insurer Bright Grey.

But what was that insane figure about this same generation borrowing off their parents? Ah yes, 4.4 million adults each borrow an average of £47,000 and change from their own parents during their grown-up years, says LV=. So despite the past five years of tough times, the message about sustainable and informed finances still doesn't seem to be getting through.

With rogue banks and the economy flat at best, it's clear that self preservation is the only way out. But to save ourselves, we need to know what we're doing.

"We have to ensure that future generations have the confidence, skills and knowledge they need to cope with future economic crises and periods of recession," says Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of the Personal Finance Education Group. "How do I set a monthly budget? How much of my salary should I be trying to put aside in savings? What can I do to protect myself against a loss of income? These are all questions that millions of people have been faced with over the last five years as the financial squeeze has taken hold.

"High-quality financial education from a young age would have put squeezed Britons in a much better position to be able to make the right choices. This is why financial education needs to be a part of the school curriculum, so that future generations are able to make informed decisions about their finances, in good times and in bad."

And yet there are still no plans for compulsory financial education in schools.

The British Olympic Association and the government talk about the effects of the London Games on our well-being, on our health and even on the economy. Even when money is tight this legacy will quite rightly lead to increased funding for sports in schools. But while I applaud those actions, isn't now, finally, the time to address the legacy of the credit crunch?

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

    £60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

    Guru Careers: Management Accountant

    £27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

    Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

    £40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'