Teachers back pioneering research into financial wellness

  • By Christine St Anne

Teachers Mutual Bank is sponsoring a pioneering research project led by the University of New South Wales as early research findings reveal that 44 per cent of people are not confident with managing day-to-day expenses 

TMB will be working in partnership with Your Financial Wellness (YFW) on the project. 

“We are thrilled to be part of a pioneering research project aimed at strengthening financial wellbeing within the community,” TMB CEO, Steve James, said.

The research by UNSW will validate the YFW Index, which measures individual financial wellness in Australia. 

The Index, developed by YFW with input from the Centre for Social Impact at UNSW Sydney, runs from a scale of 0 to 10 where higher scores represent greater financial wellness.

Research from from 1,000 Australians surveyed to date, show that financial stress is widespread with 44 per cent of people not confident in managing day to day expenses. 

The research also revealed that 26 per cent reported high or overwhelming financial stress while 20 per cent cannot afford to eat out or go to the movies. 

“The preliminary research findings confirm that this is a particularly challenging time for many Australians and that there is a real need for further support when it comes to financial wellness,” James said. 

“Our members provide so much to their communities through their work in the education, emergency services and health care sectors, and it is our mission to help them secure their financial futures,” James added.

“The validation of the index in 2021 will also provide insights into how our members feel about their financial situation and help us continue providing them with the right levels of support and a strong value proposition.”

YWF is a Sydney-based data analytics and financial wellness platform.  

The startup has already forged partnerships with six banks since it began in early 2018. 

According to YFW CEO Alexander Hassall, “helping to build people’s confidence and alleviate concerns about their financial security amid uncertainty should be the focus for financial institutions right now.”

“It is clear that consumers are increasingly looking for trusted sources of content and want their financial institutions to reach out and to provide direction and support,” Hassall said.

“As a forward-thinking organisation, Teachers Mutual Bank is ideally positioned to provide this guidance and will understandably be seen as a genuine partner in a customer’s financial and lifestyle journey,” Hassall added. 

The research by UNSW Sydney will be released in early 2021 and the validated YFW Index will then be rolled out as a benchmark for financial wellness in Australia.