Financial markets and economic systems have a direct impact on all our lives. How they operate affects how we live, and the costs of goods and services. Our financial citizenship and access to appropriate financial services are heavily dependent on how they function, thus making them flexible and resilient to shocks is in all our interests.
The recent economic and social uncertainty in the UK and beyond has demonstrated that financial markets can exacerbate social disharmony and inequality. But must this always be so? Why can’t financial systems be transformed into an ‘engine’ for social benefits, and economic goods and services, actively reversing the impact of recent years? Since 2006 the Foundation has actively explored ethical financial systems through its programmes exploring aspects of The Right Use of Money. We re-visited the themes identified and felt it was time to address some of the fundamental issues relating to our economic systems.
Friends Provident Foundation is particularly concerned with the impact of economic systems on the most vulnerable. This is where the flaws in the system show most starkly, not just in terms of poverty, but also inequality.
There are two outcomes that flow from the overall aim: ‘systems change’ and ‘local economic resilience’. We ask applicants to decide which one they wish to contribute to.