UK Financial Planning Week most successful yet
IFP said the breadth and depth of support was significantly higher than in the previous three years as organisations across the financial services spectrum got involved to channel their expertise and resources into practical ways to help people take action to plan their finances more effectively.
IFP members led the initiative, with many firms providing pro bono seminars for the general public, walk in financial surgeries, blogs, tips and articles for the media and radio broadcasts.
Some planners took the opportunity to engage with schools and gave presentations to students on the subject of financial planning. Others were on hand to answer consumers’ questions using the IFP’s new online “Ask a Planner” facility.
As well as lead sponsors NS&I and Friends Life, more than a dozen organisations were formally involved in lending their support to the campaign, including Prudential, Defaqto, Finametrica and Prestwood to name just a few. The UK’s leading debt charity the Consumer Credit Counselling Service and money education charity Credit Action also gave excellent support.
The use of online media was significantly increased this year. Pete Matthew CFPCM, creator of Meaningful Money, provided live daily broadcasts via its online TV channel on a broad range of topics related to financial planning. Viewers were also invited to ask questions live via the “chat” facility provided.
Informed Choice Ltd of Guildford ran a series of YouTube videos where financial planners gave the public practical tips and ideas they could use, aimed specifically at the financial needs of people at different stages of their lives.
Debt Free Direct and Staysure also created video footage to help people make the most of the opportunities during Financial Planning Week. IFP President Marlene Shalton FIFP,CFPCM took part in a live online money surgery with The Times, helping its readers with their budgeting queries.
Following on from its considerable success in the 2010 campaign, the use of Twitter as a means of spreading the Financial Planning Week messages to the broadest possible audience was particularly powerful.
Large numbers of tweeters helped spread the word, including powerful advocates such as Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis. Facebook too was used for the first time as part of the campaign, to effectively engage with consumers.
Nick Cann CEO of IFP commented: “It is so exciting to see the tremendous growth in the support for and engagement with the Financial Planning Week campaign this year and to see that as a result of it financial planning and financial planners are changing people’s lives for the better.
“Thanks to everyone who helped to make it such a big success. It was fantastic to see the profession working together in this way to help consumers, particularly as increasing awareness is so important a year ahead of the FSA’s retail distribution review.
“Given that so many consumers are uncertain about how they should best plan for their financial future, the need for sound professional advice, and campaigns like Financial Planning Week, has never been greater.”