Private sector funding is provided directly by individual financial institutions, and indirectly through the Money Advice Service (MAS). MAS is funded entirely by a statutory levy on the financial services industry, raised through the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and it is leading the National Strategy for Financial Capability. As part of this strategy, MAS has notably funded pfeg’s “Learning Money Matters” programme. Before MAS, the FSA was also funding this programme (with up to ?1.9 million in 2009/10) and also contributed to financial education development officer posts in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to ensure resources were coordinated and freely and easily available to teachers and schools. The FSA also funded research in 2006 that explored the way that financial education was being taught in schools.
As well as contributing indirectly through the FCA levy, a number of private sector financial institutions make a direct contribution to schools. An independent report for MAS, published in 2012, found that the financial services industry funded financial education for around ?25 million annually in 36 programmes, most targeted at people under the age of 18. For example, HSBC funds pfeg’s “What Money Means” scheme for primary schools (?3.4m over the duration of the three year project). HSBC have committed in the past up to 10 000 of their staff to the project. These volunteers go into primary schools to work with teachers to pass on their financial expertise. Prudential, GE Money and ICAEW are among the institutions that have funded pfeg’s “Use Your Expertise” project that brings together volunteers in the financial services industry with teachers in the classroom. Another example is the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Moneysense programme that provides direct support to teachers in schools.
In-kind support is also provided by financial institutions through talks at school on personal finance provided by financial services industry employees. For example, in Wales, Credit Unions’ staffs work with teachers and pupils on an ongoing basis. There is also significant private sector funding for the production of resource materials for schools. For example, Prudential, Standard Life and Experian have funded and produced specific financial education resources for schools.