Mortgage service provider HML has donated £20,000 to The Money Charity to fund money management workshops for young people across Yorkshire to help them avoid getting into financial difficulty later in life.
The Skipton-based company’s donation will help the UK’s only dedicated financial capability charity deliver 100 hours of workshops to around 2,500 young people in schools and colleges across the county.
HML’s chief executive Andrew Jones said: “Helping to teach money management to children at a young age means they are far more likely to find financial stability and success later in life.
“We will be working with The Money Charity to improve financial well-being across Yorkshire. As mortgage servicers we see first-hand how difficult it is for some families to make ends meet.”
HML said it is fully committed to playing a leading role in the creation of a Northern Powerhouse through supporting communities, sharing knowledge and investing in the future of Yorkshire.
“It’s relevant to the Northern Powerhouse. It’s not just about financial success and growth, it’s about investing in the future of Yorkshire and investing in our communities,” said Mr Jones.
The school sessions will be delivered by trained presenters and HML said they will provide “the building blocks to sound money management”, including a range of activities, the chance to debate and discuss, and relevant material for participants to take away.
“Every day we are dealing with people who are in financial difficulty. It’s clearly a traumatic experience for them,” said Mr Jones.
He added: “The more children understand about money - savings and spending - the more chance you have in later life of avoiding these issues.”
He said that children seemed very engaged in the classes he has sat in.
“You assume children won’t be interested, but when they are taught in an engaging way they learn. It’s a great way to get in at the grass roots.
“The presenters say: ‘I need to buy petrol on the way home, I want to go to the cinema this weekend and I want to buy a house in three years time.’ So the children learn what takes a lot of planning.”
He said that many schools offer little in the way of money management. “From what I see from my own children, they don’t get a lot of financial education in school,” he added.
HML has a history of engaging with local schools and other institutions. The staff at its Skipton headquarters have donated over £600,000 to charity over the last 20 years.
650 people work at HML’s headquarters in Skipton, with 90 per cent of them living within a 15 mile radius of the office which highlights the importance of the local area to its employees.
Earlier this month HML reported a sharp decline in mortgages in arrears thanks to efforts to work with borrowers who are behind on their payments.
The firm reported a 22 per cent decline in mortgages that are more than 2.5 per cent in arrears in 2015, significantly beating the 11 per cent national decline.
It said it has also seen a significant decrease in the number of households that are in “significant arrears”.
It said that households in arrears by more than 10 per cent, the most serious arrears band, decreased by 25 per cent among HML customers in 2015. This is markedly better than the national average of a two per cent decline over the same period.
HML said it has found through experience that it’s easier to find solutions when it engages with customers early on. “Our great emphasis is on ensuring they understand their situation, and how serious it might become if they refuse to address it,” said Mr Jones. “We are willing to talk through their financial situation in real detail and help them prioritise their expenditure.”