• Two thirds of UK staff admit they have never received personal finance education such as how to manage everyday spending and saving
  • Four-in-five employees want personal finance help from their employers

Two-thirds (64%) of UK employees have never received any personal finance education, according to research commissioned on behalf of the Open University Business School (OUBS)  and Share Radio.  

The research also revealed that while many employees claim to have a reasonable level of financial knowledge, what they have most recently learnt has often been the result of a kneejerk reaction to a major life event, such as leaving school or buying a first property, as opposed to being taught. Almost half (44%) of those surveyed also confessed that major life events were also the last time new financial knowledge was gained.

How employees admit they have learnt personal finance education*

Through family and friends


Self-taught from the media


Self-taught from the internet


From their employer


While at school


While at university/college


Self-taught from personal finance books


*Survey respondents were able to give multiple answers to this question

As a result of financial education being added to the school curriculum throughout the UK, the situation should improve among future generations. There is also a clear need for education among the current workforce, with just 7% having received any assistance from their employer. Moreover, four fifths (81%) of the UK workforce admit they would favour help from their employer to understand their finances. A third (33%) stated financial education would help them plan their financial future and 25% said it would help them to understand their pension. Of the ways employees would like their employer to help them, more than a quarter (26%) favoured one-to-one sessions and 22% would like the option of free financial courses.  

In order to tackle the lack of financial education in the workplace, The Open University Business School, through its dedicated research centre, the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance, has partnered with Share Radio, the UK’s only national dedicated personal finance radio station, to make the ground-breaking ‘Managing My Money’ eight week personal finance course easily accessible to any employers looking to encourage personal finance education among its employees.

The course, which starts afresh each fortnight, is free and is broadcasted via the DAB station. There are two 25 minute episodes per week, each with an online test. Following the final, more comprehensive test, students receive a Statement of Participation from the Open University.  For the first time students will be allowed to name a third party who can monitor their progress and collect their qualification results. Upon completion participants can include the certificate to their CV to further build their job prospects.

Director of the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (True Potential PUFin) at the OUBS, Martin Upton, said:

“It’s clear that many generations have suffered from a lack of formal financial education, and, while it was finally added to the school curriculum [in England] last year, there is a real need for many consumers to increase their knowledge of, and confidence in, financial matters.

“By 2018 all employers will have responsibility for offering access to pension schemes, and there should be guidance on the schemes offered and the desirability for employees to augment their state pensions. Assessing how much income is needed in retirement requires budgeting skills and an understanding of taxation. In effect, pension guidance is a stepping stone to wider financial education. We have a situation where only a tenth of consumers have consulted a financial advisor in the last 18 months, so it’s apparent that employers are in a prime position to help their employees get a better understanding of how to deal with their personal finances effectively.”

Share Radio, Managing Director, Gavin Oldham said: “The days when personal finance consisted of simply receiving your pay and paying your bills are long gone. In today’s society consumers must not just be thinking about the month ahead but for the long term, including retirement. With the recent changes to pensions, employers now have a huge responsibility to ensure their workforce understand and have the knowledge to make those importance life changing decisions.

“This is why we have partnered with the Open University Business School to broadcast the Managing My Money course, which we hope will help people to become more confident in handling and managing their finances. The partnership also allows employers the opportunity to get involved, monitor and support progress on the course and I’d encourage many to do so.”



Media contacts:

David Black – [email protected]

Russell Read-Barrow – [email protected]


Notes to Editors

About The Open University Business School:

Founded in 1983, The Open University Business School (OUBS) has become one of the leading business schools in the world and a pioneer in distance learning business and management education.

The school’s flexible and practice-based programmes transform careers and organisations by enabling people to learn while remaining in full time employment. Tutors are practising professionals in their fields and the school’s qualifications and Executive Education programmes are developed by subject specialists and grounded in leading-edge research.

OUBS offers part time and distance learning business and management courses leading to internationally recognised MBA, MSc, BA, BSc qualifications and professional certificates. Its True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (PUFin) also contributes free courses to the online learning platform, FutureLearn.

Through its work-based Executive Education programmes, OUBS helps organisations across a range of sectors to address specific needs. Sectors include local and central government, defence, healthcare, education, the third sector, financial services, IT, telecoms, engineering and construction, energy and utilities, sport and fitness or transport and logistics.

OUBS has a sister law school, The Open University Law School.



  1. OUBS is one of a select group of business schools in the world to have earned triple accreditation by AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS, the leading international management education associations.
  2. OUBS is the only triple-accredited business school that specialises in flexible learning.
  3. OUBS was ranked 16 out of 101 UK institutions for impact in the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.
  4. OUBS is rated ‘excellent’ (the highest possible rating) for its teaching and support systems by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
  5. In 2015, OUBS celebrates the 25th anniversary of its MBA programme. In 2014, it was ranked in the top ten online MBA programmes with QS and CEO Magazine.
  6. OUBS has students in 79 countries and a network of over 90,000 graduates and 700 tutors in more than 100 countries.
  7. OUBS is home to over 25,000 MBA graduates in 128 countries (as of January 2015 data).
  8. Almost 90 per cent of FTSE 100 companies have sponsored employees to study with the OU.
  9. 30,000 UK employers, including the NHS and 02, have collaborated with the OU to develop their staff.

About The True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (PUFin):

The True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (PUFin), part of The Open University Business School (OUBS), was launched in November 2013 to provide the general public with free and open access to short courses that develop personal finance skills. 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 is working 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.

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. For more information, please visit www.open.ac.uk/pufin


About True Potential LLP

Headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne, True Potential LLP is one of the fastest growing and most innovative financial services groups in the UK. The financial services group provides technology and business support services to UK financial advisers and wealth management services for private individuals. 

About Share Radio

Share Radio is the UK’s first radio station dedicated to providing information on money and investment matters for people across the United Kingdom. Share Radio is a talk-based station aimed at a broad audience, everyone from consumers looking for the best deals and information through to City professionals. The station aims to demystify finance by entertaining and educating its listeners. Regular programmes include Morning Money, Investment Perspectives, Consuming Issues and The Evening Show. The station is the home to presenters and journalists including award-winning Broadcast Journalist of the Year' Sarah Pennells and consumer champion Georgie Frost, This is Money’s Simon Lambert and Senior Analyst Ed Bowsher, who was recently shortlisted in the Financial Broadcast Journalist of the Year category at the 2015 Headlinemoney Media Awards. Share Radio was also nominated in the 2015 Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards for Innovation of the Year.

Share Radio is partnering with The Open University Business School (OUBS) to host the exclusive radio broadcast audio version of the successful financial education course Managing My Money. The partnership forms a key part of Share Radio’s vision to help people become more confident in handling money.

Share Radio broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is available on Greater London DAB and on broadband at www.shareradio.co.uk. It will be going national from March 2016. Listeners can also download the Share Radio App from the Apple and Android App stores or listen in to Radioplayer and TuneIn radio player Apps.