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
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

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

    £15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

    Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

    £40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
    Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy