Kate Hughes: Legacy lessons still have not been learned
Saturday 11 August 2012
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; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Pension mortgages: 'The advice I was given was wrong and now I face losing my home'
You'll need £220,000 for a minimum wage in your retirement
Best savings rates are not all they might seem
Minister's pension promise to firefighters challenged
Mark Dampier: Maybe boom, maybe bust, but we'll probably just muddle along
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
iJobs Money & Business
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens