“Who should savers really trust? The answer could be simply: themselves and each other”
Martin White, UK Shareholders' Association
Savers Take Control (STC) is:
- a campaign to create public awareness of the way the savings industry operates ……
- ….. to generate the political force for change
- ….. and restore the rights and influence for good of the private investor
‘Savers’: because we aim to reach not just current investors but all those who should be investors, or may become investors, or are investors without knowing it through intermediaries.
‘Take’: because entrenched and powerful interests will never give up their privileged position. It has to be taken.
‘Control’: …. to the extent granted by law to shareholders and denied to investors by intermediation.
Intellectual argument over 30 years has achieved very little. To achieve anything we must apply political pressure. We must build a populist movement to support the intellectual case.
This needs two things:
- Build trust
- Build public understanding
To build trust we will be:
- Professionally competent
To maintain independence we will:
- be funded by membership fees and donations only
- disclose all potential conflicts of interest
To demonstrate professional competence we will:
- identify members who are distinguished in relevant fields to be our Champions
- retain and enhance our capacity to respond to technical consultations with professional bodies, regulators and government
To build public understanding:
- We offer basic guidance aimed at those with little prior understanding of the savings landscape
- We will enhance public awareness at every opportunity
- We support a basic guidance website, HonestMoneyNow
- We will support education programmes aimed at young investors
- We will be active in social media, print media and public debate
People are key. Campaigning for the cause will produce supporters in the following categories:
- Champions, who are invited members with a distinguished and independent reputation whose endorsement verifies competence and independence.
- Volunteers, with skills they are prepared to offer the organisation unpaid
- Members, who pay a membership fee and have access to all membership benefits and voting rights
- Supporters, who may make donations but do not claim membership benefits
All income is derived from member fees and donations.
The essence of this new approach is that savers themselves must take control of the investment chain. Martin White, UKSA Director, first laid out the issues in September 2017 at a symposium of the Transparency Task Force.
Martin's PowerPoint presentation, together with the full presenter's notes, can be downloaded here.
Alternatively, a PDF of the presentation (without notes) can be viewed here.
Martin's articles on Savers Take Control from the April 2018 edition of The Private Investor can be found here.
Details of Martin's presentation to the Department of Mathematics at the University of Liverpool in June 2019, entitled "Aspects of stewardship: wealth creation, working lives, wealth extraction - the needs, the education and empowerment of individuals, and the relevance and contribution of the actuarial profession" can be found here.
The February 2020 issue of The Private Investor signalled the formal launch of the STC project.
The June 2020 issue of The Private Investor contains four articles on STC which are intended to be a self-contained introduction for new readers.
If you would like to discuss contributing to this project, please e-mail Martin White STC@uksa.org.uk.
You can register your interest in STC and receive further information by occasional email by clicking here. There is no fee for this, and we will not share your details with anyone else.
Two articles “Responsible Investing” and “Savers Take Control”, published on 15 September, will be reproduced here with permission.