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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

    Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

    £15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

    Orthorexia nervosa

    How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
    Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

    Set a pest to catch a pest

    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
    Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

    The dark side of Mexico

    A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

    Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border