Research centre celebrates seven years of providing world-class research on financial security

The Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM) is celebrating seven years of producing world-class research on the role of assets and their distribution in people's lives - from pensions to housing to financial savings.

At a time of increasing economic uncertainty and growing inequality, the UK like other advanced economies, has seen a shift from collective welfare provision towards private individual responsibility and risk. However, many people do not have the financial means or capability to manage this effectively. CHASM is the first university-based, interdisciplinary research centre to explore the ongoing changes to financial security.

The Centre has just published their annual report, which shows a busy and successful year, with the scale and breath of work continuing to develop at a pace. Highlights include the publication of a book on intergenerational transfers of wealth by Karen Rowlingson, Louise Overton and Ricky Joseph, funded by the Leverhulme Foundation. Also further work on understanding what works in financial education by Andy Lymer, Lee Gregory and Peter Davies, and Paul Cox’s continuing work in the evolving field of pensions.

A further highlight of the CHASM year was Karen Rowlingson’s invitation to be the Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords’ Special Committee on Financial Exclusion. The focus of the Centre’s work on financial capability in later life, the theme of its annual conference in June 2017, is an area in which the Centre’s members are planning to make particular strides in contributing to over the next few years.

Over the last year, CHASM members have been working on ways to revive the savings agenda for low and lower-income households in Britain. The key output of this work in the year was a report for the Barrow Cadbury Trust, Savings for All: A Manifesto for an Inclusive Savings Agenda, released at the start of 2017. The report set out to define the challenges from the policy and political perspective and, crucially, to try to understand the everyday challenges faced by low and lower-income households.

CHASM’s 2017 Annual Report gives a full overview of activities and outputs during the past year, showing the centre’s continued impact with its research across all aspects of financial security, inclusion, capability and personal finance.