18 December 2020
If you are covering HMRC’s announcement that over 60,000 savers across the UK have earned their first Help to Save bonus payment, please see the following comment from Quilter corporate affairs director, Jane Goodland:
"The positive news today that more than 60,400 savers across the UK have earned their first Help to Save bonus payment just in time for Christmas is welcome in what at present is a fairly gloomy news cycle. On the face of it these figures point to a scheme which is delivering what it set out to.
"The Help to Save Scheme is well-meaning and could make a big difference to those on lower incomes who want to put money away for their financial future. However, its most recent set of statistics shows that while the scheme’s popularity is no doubt on the rise it is still not quite hitting the mark. Although up to August 2020, 222,000 accounts had been opened just 162,000 individuals had made a deposit. This shows that despite the 50% risk free bonus many people still find it difficult to actually put any money away.
"There are a lot of variables which play into how much and how frequently someone saves including any challenges in someone’s home life, budgeting concerns and their financial literacy and confidence with money.
"Evidence shows that many financial attitudes and behaviours are shaped around age 7. The Help to Save initiative and others like it will be more powerful if they are combined with financial education in primary schools, so that future generations understand the benefit of saving for the long-term. A lofty goal, but one we should be aiming for.
"If we can empower the next generation to have confidence with money and a basic financial knowledge, then saving will become part of the nation’s DNA. If alongside the scheme there is a sustained effort to improve financial awareness and education, then schemes such as Help to Save could make a huge difference and in years to come many more people will be receiving a similar Christmas bonus."