We aim to champion the potential of people and families at every stage of their lives. By working to create a society which is financially confident and resilient, we want to empower people, both customers and non-customers, to take control of their finances and their futures, and to make the most of their money.
- Commitment 1: 15 million financial capability interactions by 2023
Our ambition is to help our customers and communities develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage their money in ways that give them control and peace of mind. In 2021 we stretched our previous 2020 target of 2.5 million interactions per year to a cumulative target of 15 million interactions by 2023. In the period from 1 January – 31 December we delivered 6,084,396 interactions, with a cumulative total of 8,958,109 against the strategic target of 15 million by 2023.
To ensure a consistent approach to measuring financial capability across our range of products, programmes and services, we developed a framework to assess whether our initiatives meet essential criteria: provision of knowledge and skills; active engagement; and helping people change their behaviour. This resulted in a number of additional initiatives contributing towards the bank-wide financial capability target.
- Commitment 2: Help 2 million additional customers start saving by 2023
Our priority is to support customers who have no, or very limited, savings with us to develop good savings habits. Our success measures are based on the number of customers that have managed to save £100 or more since January 2020 – and comparing that with the number of customers who had less than £100 in savings the previous year. In the period 1 January – 31 December 2021 we helped 470,813 additional customers start to save, with a cumulative total of 1,070,813 additional customers against the strategic target of 2 million by 2023.
Supporting everyone’s financial journey
We have a range of products, services, tools and activities designed to support people’s ability to develop their financial capability at every stage of their lives – from receiving their first pocket money, opening their first savings account, or reaching their next life goal.
Recognising the role a bank plays in the lives of everyone in our communities, we offer a range of free, easy-to-access initiatives for both customers and non-customers to develop good money habits. The importance of learning money management skills from a young age is well understood and MoneySense, our free financial education programme for 5-to-18-year-olds, helps teach children about money both at home and in schools. We’ve helped over 10 million young people since we launched in 1994, reaching 1.2 million in 2021 with the programme being used by 66,736 teachers across 52% of schools in the UK.
Outside of the classroom, parents have open access to free online articles, videos and games supporting conversations about money at home. Our innovative, free video game Island Saver reflects the way many children engage with the world by teaching money skills through play. The game, which is available free on consoles and mobile platforms, has been downloaded over 3.5 million times and in 2021 received the coveted ‘Mumsnet Rated’ badge and generated £192,000 for the charities Young Money and SpecialEffect.
Leaving school, many young people become financially independent for the first time. Our team of volunteers have delivered Financial Foundations Workshops to 9,131 people in 2021, empowering attendees to know their ISA from their VAT, check their payslip and get budgeting. We continue to deliver fraud education workshops in the community, including a specialist workshop focused on the needs of young adults and in 2021 helped 111,895 people to identify scams and know where to go to get help.
We also provide one-to-one Financial Health Checks with anyone who wants to review their personal finances and set goals to reach them. Available online, by video banking or over the phone, in 2021 we helped 936,970 people discover ways to get financially fit.
Building customer’s financial capability
Part of having great financial capability starts with taking control of your finances. Our spending feature in our mobile app allows customers to track their outgoings and categorise their spending. Insights like these help customers understand where their money goes each month and to budget. The feature is used over 3.8 million times per month by customers.
Another important skill for many of our customers is understanding their credit score and the actions they can take to improve it. Our free ‘Know My Credit Score’ feature has been used by 3.8 million of our customers, with over 1 million monthly users. So far, 130,000 customers who used the tool have improved their credit score.
Developing a savings habit and integrating saving into day-to-day money management is another essential part of building financial resilience. We have helped 470,813 people start to save in 2021, with 385,168 customers signing up to our Digital Regular Saver account which helps customers save little and often, making savings feel more achievable.
When our customers are in a good financial position to think about investing their money, we have several investment products with different levels of risk for them to choose from. We supported 37,791 investing journeys in 2021, with 32,944 customers choosing to invest directly through their online investment platform.
The importance of planning for the future is supported by ‘Plan Ahead’, a free digital service which aims to simplify and consolidate end-of-life planning. The online tool helps customers create, securely store and share key documents and plans with family members including creating a will and recording assets. Planning ahead shouldn’t be a daunting task and this service aims to enhance people’s financial confidence as well as giving peace of mind for the future.
Case Study: MoneySense Climate Savers competition – inspiring young people to save money and save the planet
NatWest Group’s MoneySense programme helps educate over 1 million young people every year towards a better financial future. With our Climate Savers competition, we showcased the connection between money and climate and gave a voice to the generation that will be at the heart of combating climate change.
We joined forces with the popular card game Top Trumps, challenging primary school pupils to design a special COP26 deck with ideas to help save money and the planet. Through gameplay, we inspired young people to turn their knowledge and learnings into action.
With NatWest Group as the principal banking partner at COP26, the competition brought together two of our focus areas – learning and climate – and showed how, through young people’s creativity and passion, we can all drive positive change.
Climate Savers …
- Helped pupils understand the connection between money and climate:
“Stan is more aware of energy usage and costs. He understands doors should be closed to retain heat and lights switched off.”
- Showed young people they can make a difference:
“Playing Climate Savers taught Tymon that you can save the climate with simple actions.”
- Sparked conversations at home:
“As a mum, I have definitely been more mindful of things I do which have an impact but know I have to try much harder.”
- Inspired pupils to turns their ideas into action:
“Honor has been determined to walk to school more despite it being a 25-minute walk. No petrol saves money and saves the planet.”
- Encouraged young people to share top tips:
“Buy gifts and clothes in charity shops instead of cheap chain stores. You are more likely to get something original in a second-hand shop.”