Key considerations to promote survivor financial literacy
Incorporating the six considerations below while delivering and tailoring a survivor financial literacy programme will provide long-term, holistic support for survivors.
It is important for financial industry employees to recognise that a survivor’s financial mindset can be severely impacted by their previous exploitation, making it more difficult to manage finances and build long-term financial independence.
Giving survivors the tools to take control of their financial mindset and reset any negative or detrimental attitudes around money will help them to regain their financial independence. This should be the first step in any financial literacy programme and is fundamental to the success of all survivor banking initiatives.
Working with survivor leaders to understand the impact of modern slavery on a survivor’s financial mindset will provide a more holistic insight. Also, working alongside them while developing appropriate resources and trauma-informed training can help survivors to take this important first step in building long-term financial independence. Existing initiatives such as the online courses developed by Timea’s Cause are a fantastic example of a survivor-led initiative that specifically addresses these issues.
Providing 1-on-1 training
Providing 1-on-1 financial literacy training with a trauma-informed support specialist can ensure that survivors have a reliable point of contact to develop their financial literacy skills. Working directly with survivors can simultaneously educate bankers and inform their financial inclusion programmes. This can be incorporated into existing financial literacy programmes and employee volunteering schemes.
Survivors must have access to online financial literacy resources and videos to overcome any existing barriers (i.e., language barriers and physical accessibility issues). These should be signposted once a survivor has familiarised themselves with their account.
Short, easily digestable content with multiple options for subtitled translations is highly recommended.
Software such as Recite Me provides a user with customisable accessibility and language options to increase access for vulnerable populations and ensure that online content is barrier-free.
Providing an all-inclusive financial literacy education alongside financial products and services is one of the many aspects that require thorough planning. Beyond the education programme, how survivors can access these programmes involves consideration and planning as well. Physical accessibilities may be an issue for some; to overcome this hurdle, covering travel expenses to and from the bank may need to be considered. This could encourage programme uptake and be the first step for some.
Long-term financial support
Access to 1-on-1 education should track survivors’ needs as they regain their freedom and independence over time. This means going beyond the basics of opening a survivor bank account to provide financial planning and long-term financial literacy guidance on topics such as investment, mortgages and small-business loans. Interactive resources such as budget planners and financial goal trackers should be accessible to survivors to support long-term financial independence.
Money Helper is a useful resource that can be used by survivors and signposted by financial institutions, providing free and easy access to financial guidance. They also have useful tools such as a Budget Planner, Bill Prioritiser and Savings Calculator.
Mobile apps and other resources
For survivors who have covered the essential financial literacy topics and have a good level of English, mobile apps such as Your Juno and Rapunzl can allow survivors to develop further skills and take control of their finances.
- Your Juno provides short, easy-to-digest lessons on money management, saving, investing and more. It is aimed at women and non-binary people.
- Rapunzl is an app designed to give people an insight into investing with simulated investing competitions. They offer prizes & job opportunities to top-performing investors.