Financial firms playing their part to help build back better

The lifting of lockdown has seen many keen to get out and about, and support local business, such as hairdressers, barbers, and of course, the local pub.

As attention increasingly looks towards an economic recovery, it is important to consider the financial firms going above and beyond to help support the public as they adapt to the new normal, as well as ensuring that this new normal is a better one.

Aviva for instance, has supported thousands of workplace pension savers with the launch of its financial education sessions, to help answer questions about the financial impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Whilst normally delivered face to face, the sessions shifted online during the Coronavirus lockdown, and have have reached 6,500 Aviva workplace pension members in just three weeks, five times more via webinar than this time last year.

Aviva workplace savings manager, Laura Stewart-Smith, stated that as soon as the impact on stock markets became clear, the firm knew there would be demand for financial education sessions, presenting to more than 1,500 members in the first week of webinars alone.

The past month has also seen the launch of a new initiative called Ezra, founded by TransferTo Group chairman, Allan Green, which looks to harness this surge in technology and mobilisation which has emerged since the lockdown.

The initiative is designed to partner with mobile operators, non-government organisations, and foundations to enable a “positive impact on the lives of vulnerable communities" through digital and financial inclusion.

It emphasised that the pandemic had created an “overwhelming need” for action such as this, adding that technology "now more than ever" should be used to reach the "ultimate beneficiaries" more efficiently.

Ezra’s network of partners, which includes DT One and Thunes, will connect “billions of people” through agreements with mobile networks and financial institutions that are present in over 160 countries.

As the country looks to build back a better normal, more and more industry partnerships and collaborations are emerging for the benefit of consumers.

Redington have announced that it will be leading a student initiative to tackle the under-representation of Black talent in the investment industry.

The investment consultant is working with nine other financial services firms to connect businesses directly with students and tackle the under representation of Black talent in the industry, as part of Entrepreneur's in Action’s Classroom to Boardroom initiative.

Firms will work with more than 25 Black students, primarily from schools across South London, to find ways to increase applications, opportunities and the development of young Black people in entry-level roles.

The other participating organisation are: Aon, Fidelity International, Invesco, LCP, Lincoln Pensions, Mercer, Morgan Stanley, St James’ Place and Wellington.

All of the partners will share details on their current diversity initiatives and entry level strategies, as well as what they perceive to be barriers in bringing in young Black talent.

Redington CEO, Mitesh Sheth, highlighted the initiative as an opportunity to “step out of our echo chamber” and to hopefully identify some talented young people.

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