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On Tuesday 17 September CHASM hosted the Help to Save First Anniversary event
at the University of Birmingham, in partnership with HM Revenue & Customs.  

The aim of this flagship government savings scheme is to support working families on low incomes to build savings while  developing a savings habit for the future.  Under the Help to Save scheme, for every pound saved, the government adds an extra 50p to the savings pot.

Our keynote speaker, John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister, highlighted some of the successes of the scheme todate, including its clarity and simplicity and the fact that 132,000 people had opened an account in the last year.   He commented that ‘it is critical that all policy interventions that are made from the Treasury are underpinned by thorough, academically credible work’.  He expressed his pleasure to be invited to the University of Birmingham to celebrate the academic input that has already taken place to make tis scheme the success it has been. 

The Minister was also keen to explore ways to increase uptake of the scheme even more widely over the coming year. He used the event to announce that a further targeted marketing campaign would be put in place for the second year of the scheme to encourage more people to open a Help to Save account.

Professor Andy Lymer, Director of CHASM, demonstrated how the Centre has supported the development of the Help to Save scheme through researching ways to enable people to build better savings habits.  Professor Lymer explained that CHASM is now working with HMRC to explore future developments for the Help to Save App and website, to make them even more user friendly and encourage more eligible people to open an account. 

Informative presentations were also given by Michael Royce, Senior Policy and Propositions Manager at the Money & Pensions Service, David Beaston, Technical Manager at The Investing and Saving Alliance (TISA) and David Hook, Head of Policy for Savings and Charities at HMRC.  Aisling Ni Chonaie, Senior Advisor from the Behavioural Insights Team at HMRC also offered ideas into how to effectively nudge further uptake of this scheme.  There was a lively and though provoking debate on how the Help to Save Scheme should be taken forward in terms of developing the digital interface and engaging with current and new savers.