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The True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (True Potential PUFin) is a pioneering Centre of Excellence for research in the development of personal financial capabilities. The establishment and activities of True Potential PUFin have been made possible thanks to the generous support of True Potential LLP, which has committed to a five-year programme of financial support for the Centre totalling £1.4 million.

True Potential PUFin works to improve public understanding of personal finance through its research and the delivery of free modules providing individuals with the tools to make sound financial decisions.

There is a clear need to provide accessible financial education that can increase individuals’ skills and knowledge. Recent research demonstrates that the under-40s are less financially capable than their elders1, many people take on financial risks without realising the implications and 16% of us are unable to identify the balance on a bank statement2.

The recession that followed the 2007/08 financial crisis hit UK households hard. with 23% experiencing a large drop in income between 2010 and 20133 .

More than half of the UK population struggling to pay their bills and are worried about finances.

Given the current economic climate, better financial capability is essential if individuals are expected to manage their finances effectively. There is also a need to help inform financial service providers, regulators, influencers and government. True Potential PUFin is the Open University Business School’s mechanism to deliver what the public and industry need.

True Potential PUFin has four core areas of activity:

1. Developing and galvanising knowledge in the area of financial capability under the leadership of The True Potential Chair in Personal Financial Capability.

2. Making financial education more pertinent and accessible. Utilising the expertise of True Potential LLP and the Centre’s academics we have launched - for free use by the public - three modules in personal financial management that are available as Massive Open Online Courses on FutureLearn:

3. To increase our understanding of public finance issues and provide evidence of where we can make the greatest impact we have two True Potential PhD studentships to support the Centre.

4. To raise awareness of the issues that exist in the field of personal finance we disseminate our research to a wide finance and management audience.

You can visit our blog for the latest news and insight on personal finance matters. You can also access free resources and our latest events.

Note the video is from the True Potential PUFin Annual Conference 2014 and features former Centre Chair, Professor Sharon Collard.

1 Levels of Financial Capability in the UK: Results of a baseline survey, published March 2006 (updated May 2013), Financial Services Authority.
2 The Financial Capability of the UK report, updated November 2013, the Money Advice Service.
3 The Financial Capability of the UK report, updated November 2013, the Money Advice Service.

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