17 Jul 2013

The Open University Business School Establishes True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance

Managing debt, organising household budgets and increasing awareness of personal money matters are set to form the basis of a new research centre dedicated to improving public understanding of financial issues. The new centre is the result of a partnership between The Open University Business School and Financial services organisation True Potential.

The True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (PUFin) has been made possible through support by True Potential LLP and the commitment of David Harrison Managing Partner and OU MBA alumnus. Its primary aims will be to offer insight through research into financial understanding and to deliver free modules and courses to help develop knowledge of financial matters.

The partnership between The Open University Business School and True Potential LLP will ensure that the information needed by individuals to make a real difference to their personal financial management will be delivered in a way that is accessible, and can be applied to their own circumstances immediately.

Professor Rebecca Taylor, Dean of The Open University Business School explains: “The Open University has over 40 years’ experience of researching, designing and delivering learning materials that enable individuals to develop their capabilities and realise their potential, irrespective of their starting point. Through the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance, we will together create a learning journey that will provide individuals with the skills and confidence to take control of their finances, building from the basics of understanding personal finance products, to understanding investment and risk. PUFin will help to address the urgent need for greater understanding by consumers as highlighted by recent research from the Financial Services Authority (FSA)*.”

The Centre’s research will be disseminated through academic and professional conferences, journals and seminars and supported by an external engagement plan. In addition, two annual practitioner-focused publications will be produced in a format that will allow them to be shared on social media outlets. Recruitment is currently underway for the Centre.

Speaking about the creation of the Centre David Harrison, managing partner of True Potential LLP said:

“Many people in Britain have a very uneasy relationship with money and we want to do everything we can to help fix that. We want to arm people with the knowledge and information they need to enable them to embrace their financial dealings, to ask the right questions of the right people, and to eventually fix the savings gap that is presenting an incredibly serious problem to the UK.

“This is something that I have felt strongly about for many years and we are investing in the True Potential PuFIN in a bid to make a real long-term difference to people’s personal finances.”

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*The FSA research showed just 45 per cent of people aged over 30 and earning at least £10,000 are making adequate provisions for retirement and that few will be able to afford to retire at age 70.

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