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What is “Savers Take Control”?

Below is the description of Savers Take Control from the Appendix of our recent submission to the Financial Conduct Authority – which you can see in full here.

Savers Take Control (STC) is an ambitious, early stage, but very simple idea for altering the balance of power in relation to individual investment.  It is a not-for-profit project, which relies on knowledgeable investors putting time and effort for free into helping less knowledgeable investors.  The intention is for STC to develop into a well-known and trusted voice that can be relied on to be completely independent of both the financial and the corporate world.

The STC team is currently largely composed of people who are retired, having previously worked in various party of the financial sector.  But we would be delighted to hear from anyone, whatever their skills and experience might be, who has an interest in investment, who meets the independence criteria above, and who has a passion for tackling the imbalances we discuss in this submission in the interests of our society as a whole.  The balance of power has tipped further away from individuals and towards the financial services market.  At the same time individuals are expected to be more self-reliant, with the demise of generous company pension schemes.

It’s not just the savings chain that we wish to influence, however.  There is also the “ownerless corporation”.  In our response to Q38 of the CFI, we give a link to a lecture by Lord Paul Myners on short-termism, that explains how he came to realise that many, if not most, companies operated without effective governance by their owners.  A consequence of this is the explosion in executive pay.   But if you raise the topic of executive pay in the corridors of power, and certainly in any discussions in the City of London, the discussion is immediately moved on to something else.  So as well as independence from the investment sector, we are also determined to be able to speak out to argue for a completely different approach to executive pay.   As savers and investors, we ought to be able to ask those who manage investments for us to require the companies we own to improve their behaviour.   Unfortunately, it is hard for well-paid fund managers to crack down on executive pay in companies that they own on all our behalves.

A number of articles and presentations, as well as contact information, can be accessed through https://www.uksa.org.uk/Savers_Take_Control  Here are the titles of some of the articles you will find in the February 2020 and June 2020 issues of UKSA’s Private Investor magazine:-

  • Time to engage the voice of the individual in a national debate
  • Changing the world of savings and investment and driving a change in company behaviour
  • John Kay on remuneration
  • What does a corporate culture feel like when nobody worries about the share price or what profits are reported this quarter?
  • Improving capitalism for the public good – what do we have in mind?  And can it be done?
  • The magic ingredient: Savers and Investors helping each other for free – would you like to help?

 

Savers Take Control highlighted in 2020 Money Management Campaign

We recently worked with Business and Industry on the 2020 Money Management campaign. A printed publication was enclosed within every copy of the Guardian newspaper on 15 September 2020 and the content is available online at https://bit.ly/3jCKDKZ and https://bit.ly/3bUwuX7.

The campaign featured exclusive content from key thought leaders and industry voices about financial wellbeing including a spotlight on responsible investment. The first link will get you to the article on responsible investment, and the second to a brief explanation of our Savers Take Control (STC) campaign. The quote below about trust also featured on the front page of the printed supplement.

 

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