Evidence of impact: An overview of financial education evaluations

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for the FSA by the Personal Finance Research Centre



Financial Service Authority

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The Personal Finance Research Centre at the University of Bristol has undertaken a review of evaluations of financial capability strategies on behalf of the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The FSA leads the National Strategy for Financial Capability and this review is designed specifically to further inform that strategy. The National Strategy targets: • school children, • young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET); • students in universities and Further Education (FE) colleges; • employees in their workplace; • and new parents. It also provides straightforward information through the Moneymadeclear consumer website and publications, and reaches a wide range of consumers via Partnership Development initiatives with not-for-profit organisations. The review was designed to meet two objectives: 1) To describe the extent to which the empirical literature identifies any incremental impact of financial capability interventions on people's behaviour and attitudes: • paying particular attention to the evidence about the effectiveness of different delivery methods of financial education and the impact on key target groups; and • highlighting which aspect(s) of financial capability are being delivered by the various schemes wherever possible. 2) To create a set of plausible estimates of the proportion of people likely to respond to types of financial capability initiatives by making changes in their behaviour, and the extent of any changes they make to their personal finances. Unfortunately, we have found insufficient robust evidence to meet the second objective. We therefore identify what we believe are the key components of a robust evaluation of a financial capability strategy, and explain our reasons for being cautious about generalising from the findings of the existing literature.

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