2017 Savings and Debt Summit

University of Birmingham
Wednesday 15 November 2017 (11:00-15:00)

Expressions of interest to Helen Harris h.m.a.harris@bham.ac.uk

Savings and Debt Challenges and Opportunities: drawing on the lived experience of low income savers 

This event was hosted by CHASM and jointly run with the Financial Health Exchange (Toynbee Hall).

This Summit, following on from our successful Savings Summit in May 2016, looked at developing further the themes explored there, including:

  • failures of the market to recognise and support existing savings behaviour;
  • the challenges of developing savings when on lower income;
  • how a user-led approach might influence savings product design to maximise the benefit of every £1 saved;
  • considering the suitability and usefulness of creative solutions to support savings offered in the market at present (including innovations in FinTech and savings apps).

The event also looked to bring into the discussion the important issue of debt management in the context of financial resilience, exploring issues including:

  • what are current best practices in debt management; and
  • developing financial capability when in debt (in the context of the Standard Financial Statement). 

A key aim of the event was to bring together both sides of the financial well-being equation which for those on lower incomes can prove a difficult balance to strike in practice. 

The event also addressed:

  • working age savings – the need versus the reality
  • savings and external encouragement: good versus bad ‘nudge’
  • savings visible and invisible (the role of informal savings)

Speaker presentations

  • Sonia Fernandes (Money Advice Service) - view presentation here
    The Savings Challenge – discussing recent MAS work on saver types, saving levels amongst those in debt, and the link between financial confidence and savings
  • Benedetta Arese Lucin (Oval Money) - view presentation here 
    Discussing the role of fintech in supporting people save, and where this sector is making strides in supporting all to save
  • Carl Packman (Toynbee Hall) - view presentation here 
    Savings Manifesto for lower-income savers – a presentation on the work done by CHASM for the Barrow Cadbury Trust discussing where policy changes could usefully support lower income 
  • Andy Lymer (CHASM) - view presentation here 
    Solving savings puzzles for low income households – discussing work undertaken by Toynbee Hall  exploring how those on low incomes use informal savings and debt management techniques to develop financial resilience

This event built on the CHASM ’Savings for all – A manifesto for an inclusive savings agenda’ report published in January 2017 and a report addressing related themes produced by the Financial Health Exchange/Toynbee Hall entitled ‘Savings for the Future: Solving the savings puzzle for low income households. A briefing paper created for the previous Savings Summit outlining the issues discussed there can also still be accessed.

View a video summary of the event below:



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