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UK adults have “stubbornly low” financial skills


A fifth of UK adults are unable to read a bank statement properly, according to research from the Money Advice Service.

The research found that the UK has “stubbornly low” financial skills, as one five people could not read a bank statement and 40% of people had less than £500 in savings, leaving them at a risk of financial shocks.

The survey, which asked 5,000 people in the UK about their financial habits, also found that a third of people had trouble calculating a simple interest rate; concluded that eight million people had debt problems but only one in six were seeking help; and found that only half of families in the UK have life cover.

The Money Advice Service has now launched a 10 year plan to try and improve the financial skills of people in the UK. It will aim to improve the way people use money day to day, as well as helping them to prepare for and manage key events and deal with financial difficulties.

Andy Briscoe, Chairman of the Financial Capability Board said:
“Four out of ten adults are not in control of their finances, so for a great many people money is a constant source of worry and stress. This is a problem first and foremost for the individuals concerned and for their families, but it also has wider implications for society and the economy. The stubbornly low levels of financial capability in the UK can no longer be tolerated. Today we are calling for a fully collaborative approach to ensure we achieve the goals set out in the Strategy over the next decade.”

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