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5.4 MILLION UK YOUNGSTERS HAVE NO SAVINGS, NEW RESEARCH REVEALS

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5.4 Million UK Youngsters Have No Savings, New Research Reveals
  • Almost half of 18-30 year olds (49%) in the UK, equivalent to 5.4 million people, do not have a savings account
  • 59% have money left in their current accounts at the end of the month which they could be putting into a savings account or ISA
  • Digital banking provider Intelligent Environments urges UK banks and building societies to do more to help young people save by implementing automatic transfers and personalised savings goals features

Almost half of 18-30 year olds in the UK (49%), equivalent to 5.4 million young people[i], do not have a savings account, despite over half (59%) having money left in their current accounts at the end of each month. As a result, the leading financial services software provider is calling on UK banks and building societies to help younger customers save by providing personalised savings goal features and automatically transferring surplus current account credit into a savings account or ISA.

5.4 Million UK Youngsters Have No Savings, New Research Reveals

5.4 Million UK Youngsters Have No Savings, New Research Reveals

“75% of bank customers we surveyed would like to see such a system introduced,” commented David Webber, Managing Director at Intelligent Environments. “It would give any bank introducing this technology a significant advantage over their rivals. Plus, the good news is the technology needed to automatically transfer money between current and savings accounts could be introduced very quickly.”

By using analytics to predict customers’ spending habits and identify large impending payments, Intelligent Environments believes banks can help their customers save more and ensure there is always a current account buffer to cover unexpected payments. Additionally, banks can predict when a customer’s rent or mortgage payment is due before it takes place, and ensure there are enough funds in their current account.

“As the advent of predictive technology such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft Cortana becomes an integral part of consumers’ lives, it’s now time for financial services providers to capitalise on this intelligent processing power” added David Webber.

In light of the research findings, Intelligent Environments is urging UK banks and building societies to help young customers better manage their finances and savings by implementing predictive intelligence and adding personalised savings goal features to digital banking apps. This will enable customers to set specific savings goals and timeframes in which to achieve them and then track progress as they save.

This follows a submission by the BBA to the Treasury last month to “Support Savers”, in which ministers were urged to simplify the ISA regime and introduce a new work-based account to encourage millions of employees to build up a nest egg as they earn.

David Webber explained: “Consumers are more likely to save if they can readily visualise the outcome. By personalising a savings aim and setting it over an achievable timeline, goals become more realistic. It is more compelling to save for the next “Ski Trip” or “New Kitchen” than have it lumped into one generic account.”

In line with this research and campaign, Intelligent Environments and The Digital Banking Club is organising a webinar for the financial industry on “Personal Financial Management (PFM): a key weapon in banking loyalty wars?” The discussion will explore optimising personal financial management tools and the essential elements for financial services providers. This will take place on Thursday, April 24 at 14:00 BST. For more info and to register please visit: http://www.intelligentenvironments.com/info-centre/events/2014-04-tdbc-webinar-april-24

[i] 49 per cent of 18-30 year olds, equivalent to 5,454,533 people do not have a savings account according to research by Opinion Matters. Based on population of 11,131,700 18-30 year olds (Source: ONS Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – Mid 2012: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-319259 )

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs 1

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit a fresh high in Asian trading on Saturday, extending a two-month rally that saw its market capitalisation cross $1 trillion a day earlier.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency rose to an record $56,620, taking its weekly gain to 18%. It has surged more than 92% this year.

Bitcoin’s gains have been fuelled by evidence it is gaining acceptance among mainstream investors and companies, such as Tesla Inc, Mastercard Inc and BNY Mellon.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and daily volume, hit a record $2,040.62, for a weekly gain of about 12%.

Ether is the digital currency or token that facilitates transactions on the ethereum blockchain. In the crypto world, the terms ether and ethereum have become interchangeable.

Ether futures contracts launched on derivatives exchange CME earlier this month.

(Reporting by Vidya Ranganathan; Editing by William Mallard)

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers 2

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank is working to standardize COVID-19 vaccine contracts that countries are signing with drug makers, and is pushing manufacturers to be more open about where doses are headed, as it races to get more vaccines to poor countries, the bank’s president said on Friday.

World Bank President David Malpass told Reuters he expected the bank’s board to have approved $1.6 billion in vaccine funding for 12 countries, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Ethiopia, by the end of March, with 30 more to follow shortly thereafter.

The bank is working with local governments to identify and fill gaps in distribution capacity, after they purchase vaccines under a $12 billion World Bank program, and also to standardize the contracts they are signing with manufacturers, he said.

The bank’s International Finance Corp, its private financing arm, has $4 billion to invest in expanding existing production plants or building new ones, including in developed countries, but needs more data on where current production is headed, he said.

“We are eager to be investing in new capacity, but it’s hard to do because you don’t know how much of the existing capacity is already committed to the various off-takers,” Malpass said in an interview with Reuters. New or expanded plants could be used to produce other types of vaccinations in the future, he said.

The bank’s funds could be used to expand plants in advanced economies, if the production was earmarked for developing nations, he said.

Malpass welcomed Friday’s pledge by the Group of Seven rich countries to intensify cooperation on the pandemic, saying it could help jump-start deliveries of vaccines to poorer countries, which are lagging far behind rich countries in getting shots in arms.

Data compiled by Our World In Data, a scientific online publication, showed Israel was leading the world in COVID-19 vaccinations, with nearly 82 of 100 people vaccinated, while India and Bangladesh reported less than one person per 100, Many African countries have not started at all.

Malpass said he was heartened by news about new vaccines coming down the road, and about Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE seeking permission to store their vaccine at higher temperatures, which would ease another obstacle to deliveries in lower-income countries.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Leslie Adler)

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion 3

By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google will evaluate the performance of its vice presidents and above on team diversity and inclusion starting this year, the company said on Friday in one of several responses to concerns about its treatment of a Black scientist.

Timnit Gebru, co-leader of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence research team, said in December that Google abruptly fired her after she criticized its diversity efforts and threatened to resign.

Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai ordered a review of the situation. While Google declined to share specific findings, the company announced on Friday it will engage human resources specialists during sensitive employee departures.

Pichai in June said that by 2025, Google aims to have 30% more of its leaders come from underrepresented groups, with a focus on Black, Latinx and Native American leaders in the United States and female technical leaders globally. About 96% of Google’s U.S. leaders at the time were white or Asian, and 73% globally were men.

As a result of the investigation, the company also expanded a commitment announced in June to devote more resources to retaining and promoting existing employees, including by expanding a team addressing disputes among workers and their managers.

The diversity component of executive performance reviews was not previously announced, and the company did not immediately share details about what would be measured and how pay would be affected.

Alphabet for years had rejected proposals from shareholders and employees to set diversity goals and tie executive pay to them.

Irene Knapp, a former Google employee who advocated for one such proposal at a 2018 shareholder meeting, said on Friday, “I am pleased that they met our demand from 2018, which was a bare minimum that should have been easy to do immediately.”

Evaluating managers on diversity goals is becoming more commonplace. McDonald’s Corp on Thursday tied executive bonuses to diversity.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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