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Youth Forum with Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent

Posted by Future Forum (Admin) 2 months ago


We are delighted to be working with the British Youth Council for this session. Ben is keen to hear young people's views on the future of money. How do you view the future of cash? What are your concerns on moving to a cashless society, cyber-security or climate change? What actions would you like to see the financial sector take to limit the risks caused by these? 

 Ben would like you to share your thoughts and questions on the future of cash, payments and savings. He will be answering as many questions as possible at 9:45am on 6 December 2018.

While this session is of particular relevance to young people, all are welcome to submit their questions.


This post was edited on Dec 3, 2018 by Michelle (BoE Moderator)

This post has 4 subscribers

Comments (66)

Joe Stockley BYC says... 2 months ago

It feels as though we are moving quickly toward a less human, more automated approach to money, and that only leads to gaps in the social net becoming wider. How does a digital & cashless society mitigate the potential damage which that could cause to those of lower socioeconomic backgrounds, who may not have the capital or technological skills necessary to participate in a that society, be it by not having a mobile, or a computer, or the ability to speak the language? 

Michelle (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Great question Joe, thanks for taking part.

Ben Broadbent says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your question. My colleague Dave Ramsden answered a very similar question on this during his session too.

 We believe that is it important that the public have choice over the way they pay for transactions.

The UK has seen a decline in the use of cash, but we also think that cash will remain a critical part of the payments landscape for the foreseeable future.

It is true that an unmanaged decline in cash use could limit choice for people and businesses who prefer to use cash. Part of the Bank’s role involves considering how cash distribution structures might evolve in the UK as the cost of processing cash increases. Working with other authorities and industry to ensure that the system for distributing cash remains resilient and efficient for as long as is deemed appropriate is therefore an important priority.

Lewis Addlington-Lee BYC says... 2 months ago

As those living in cities and big towns move towards a more cashless lifestyle, how do we make sure that more rural communities do not get left behind? 

The decline of the high-street shop and the rise of online purchasing means that the average shopping/retail experience is changing - how do we make sure that those who are not used to/comfortable with purchasing online can still access what they need to? 

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your question!

Cameron Penny says... 2 months ago

Do you think that job falls to civil society institutions such as Which? or Age UK or do banks and other financial institutions have a roll to play here? Or - where they exist - are local libraries an effective way to mitigate the divide between the tech-haves and have-nots? Note this isn't just about having a smartphone, tablet or computer but also the skill level to make use of current and emerging financial platforms that live online rather than in bricks and mortar. 

Ben Broadbent says... 2 months ago

Hi Lewis, you and @JoeStockley have both raised great points – please see my response to his question.

Leon BYC says... 2 months ago

As young people facing an uncertain Brexit, how will the departure from the EU affect the interest rates for those who have taken out student loans whilst studying in Further Education and/or Higher Education?

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your question Leon!

Rebecca Johnstone says... 2 months ago

I believe that the UK has become much more automated when it comes to the use of money. There are some benefits of this, e.g. the growth of e-commerce platforms. However, there has also been an increase in fraud and scams. I think the financial sector need to provide more education around these threats in our society. For example, in schools, sixth forms, colleges and online courses.

Additionally, I believe that it has become increasingly harder for young people to invest and buy a house. This is due to house prices increasing more rapidly than wages. Therefore, people have to save for much longer to be able to afford to buy or rent a house. Furthermore, with the low-interest rate, there is only a small reward for saving. Thus, people are less likely to save their money, and this increases the problem.

One question I have is how does the Bank of England intend to support young people during this housing crisis?

Stefanie (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Hi Rebecca - some good points and thank you for your question.

Lara Arekat BYC says... 2 months ago

As young people, it comes as no shock that we are a culture used to modernism and technology, especially in today's age. 

Simply put, do you think that the older generation's reticence to modern finance would impact or disrupt the overall assimilation of society to modernised finance systems? If so, would this affect young people to a smaller or larger extent?

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your question!

Ben Broadbent says... 2 months ago

Technology is changing Financial Services in two main ways. One involves the "front-end" with increasing use of internet Banking.  The other involves the underlying infrastructure that is used to manage and deliver those services.  This means that people who prefer to access Finance Services face to face in a High Street branch, or over the phone still benefit from the advances in Technology that Banks use to deliver those services.  For example you may be speaking to a person in a branch, but that person might be supported by advanced Artificial Intelligence tools. 

Regarding the age of consumers, it's true that the latest features and technology are often aimed at the young (the "early adopter").  However, the relative wealth of older consumers makes them an attractive market for the right kinds of product.  The vast majority of the population (85%) already has a Smartphone.  That said, it's important to ensure that people who are unable or unwilling to use the latest Technology are not left behind.

The Bank of England is embracing fintech through its FinTech Hub (https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/fintech) and also maintaining a keen interest in financial inclusion (https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/speech/2017/the-promise-of-fintech-something-new-under-the-sun

Sabrina Rochemont says... 2 months ago

Mr Broadbent, should Financial inclusion be part of the BoE objectives, as is the case in a number of Asian and African countries that are addressing infrastructure gaps?

Such gaps are appearing in UK rural areas due to the branch/ ATM viability issues- so, should the bank be proactive and take ownership as part of a national payments strategy? Should this also be an objective for financial institutions, as South Africa addresses by adding a Financial Inclusion charter in their compliance requirements?  

Renee Weber says... 2 months ago
As technology progresses and online banking conquers real money what advice and support is provided to ensure young people feel confident to remain financially secure? Young people today are rarely, if ever, educated about fiancés. The online banking world can be extremely confusing and even some adults don't completely understand mortgages and loans. And considering money is predominantly managed digitally, more and more people will subjected to online fraud and substandard schemes. Therefore, it is essential to inform and protect today's generation. What resources are available to help develop understanding and ensure financial safety and stability?
Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Good question, thank you for taking part!

Rob Coate BYC says... 2 months ago

With low interest rates and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit deepening these rates and risking a recession, should the financial sector advocate for implementing unconventional monetary policies such as 'helicopter money' to limit these risks? 

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your question.

Ben Broadbent says... 2 months ago

Thanks for the question Rob - there was me thinking it was going to be a Brexit-free morning! A couple of quick points about this:

First, it's not necessarily the case that looser policy - e.g. lower interest rates - would be the right approach in such a scenario. For example, if the exchange rate were to fall, that would tend to boost inflation, limiting our room for manoeuvre. It's also important to understand that a no-deal Brexit could well reduce productivity and the economy's supply capacity. Contractions in an economy caused by a drop in supply tend to be less disinflationary. 

If we did need to loosen policy, then helicopter money is unlikely to be effective at generating growth or help to bring inflation sustainably back to our 2% target. Besides, we have plenty of firepower left in terms of asset purchases, which continue to provide effective stimulus.

AnnaBYC says... 2 months ago

There are many options for young people to manage their finances but little done to encourage financial literacy. Understanding interest rates, benefits of current accounts, mortgages, stamp duty and even day to day budgeting can be an impossible task for so many. 

What will you do to ensure the financial sector gives quality and impartial advice to young people making financial decisions to ensure they are informed?

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your question Anna!

Kyle BYC says... 2 months ago
Has the Bank of England conducted much research into young people and money/finance? Should we be assuming that young people are better placed to harness a cashless society than older generations? Are crypto currencies gaining traction amongst young people? If so will this continue and what impact would this have on how the BoE does it’s job?
Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your good question!

Ben Broadbent says... 2 months ago

Thanks for your question.  Industry research suggests that cash use is most common in low income households.  Over half of the 2.2 million people who rely predominantly on cash coming from lower income households.  This perhaps reflects the view that cash provides a simple and tangible method for managing a limited budget.  That being said, if you look at statistics on those who rarely use cash for their day-to-day spending, they're mostly young people.  On the question of whether cryptocurrencies are gaining traction, we think its very unlikely they will gain traction as a means of payment.  Their value is too unstable and it takes much longer to process transactions. 

Rubie HarringtonBYC says... 2 months ago

I think that more needs to be done to educate young people about managing money and their personal finances– how can you do this and what should all young people know?

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your question.

Max Parry BYC says... 2 months ago

Our economy is built on constant growth, but how sustainable is this in a world of finite resources?

Lewis Martin BYC says... 2 months ago
Is real change viable under the free market? Must we rely on consumers to change attitudes and behaviour to stop climate destroying productions or must we resort to intervention?
Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your question!

Ben Broadbent says... 2 months ago

Combatting climate change will involve widespread change across all industries, countries, and people.  The Bank takes climate change very seriously.  For example, a recent Bank of England Consultation Paper set out how we expect regulated financial firms to respond to the financial risks of climate change. A key message in that Paper was that every section of society, including the Bank and government, has to act soon, if we are to achieve a smooth transition to a low carbon economy.

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your question!

Ben Broadbent says... 2 months ago

The basic answer is new technology. In the last 20 years, consumption of oil in this country has fallen close to 20% (and overall carbon emissions are now at levels last seen in the 19th century). But, over that 20-year period, GDP has risen by over 20%. The "carbon intensity" of GDP has fallen globally as well (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PP.GD?end=2014&start=1990&view=chart). With a combination of green technology, serious climate policy and the continued transition to service-based economies it is possible for this reduction to continue. So some form of growth may be possible for a considerable period.

Amanda CC - BYC says... 2 months ago

We’re increasingly moving towards a digital world, especially in terms of how future generations learn & communicate - this also means mistruths and wrong impressions spread faster than ever before amongst younger generations. How do you think the banking world can work with young people & digital platforms to ensure correct and useful information is the main message that younger generations see and hear? 

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Great question - thank you!

Ben Broadbent says... 2 months ago

There is a great deal of research taking place into machines that detect “fake news”.  This has shown that the source of the information is an important consideration when you are deciding whether a source is trustworthy or not (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181004085333.htm).  The Bank has recently launched a number of initiatives to provide information about what we do, and the economy generally to a diverse audience.  These include econoME – a free education resource aimed at young people that we have developed with Young Money and the PHSE education.  We also have KnowledgeBank – which provides videos, articles and interactive graphics.  For people who want to get more in-depth there is our staff blog site Bank Underground.

Luke Thornton- BYC says... 2 months ago

Young people have grown up in the last decade with historically low interest rates.  This has driven behaviours around saving / spending, to get the economy moving.  What can we do to encourage young people to save?


Linked to this, to be financially secure people should be holding a mixture of different asset classes.  Where interest rates are so low, equity markets are so volatile and house prices are so high, how should young people be looking to secure their future? What can we do to help?

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

great question - thank you!

Simon Youel says... 2 months ago

Many young people like myself feel angry that they may never be able to afford a house as property prices have skyrocketed far beyond any nominal income growth in recent years.

Housing unaffordability has been exacerbated by the way the Bank of England’s quantitative easing programme has massively inflated asset prices, which in turn fuels intergenerational inequality. QE has dramatically enriched the over 45s, who hold around 80% of assets, while pushing up housing costs for people my age who often don’t own any assets. Unfortunately such demographic factors have been overlooked when the Bank analyses the impact of monetary policy on inequality.

In the event of the next downturn, will the Bank of England therefore consider a fairer stimulus that will benefit every age group equally, such as helicopter money?

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your question!

Ben Broadbent says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your question Simon. I can quite understand why younger people are concern about the cost of housing. House prices are materially higher than they were 20-25 years ago, both in real terms and relative to people's incomes.

However, it's important to recognise that these increases took place well before QE was even conceived (principally from 1997-2005). House prices are currently lower than they were a decade ago, in real terms and relative to incomes. Real share prices of UK-facing companies are almost a third lower. And the inequality of both income and wealth has declined over that period.

It may well be that, at the margin, QE helped prevent these prices from falling any further, as would any easing in monetary policy. But if policy hadn't been eased, we would almost certainly have seen much higher levels of unemployment and weaker real wages. That would disproportionately have affected younger and less well-paid people. Overall, taking both these factors into account, careful studies suggest that QE had essentially no impact on levels of inequality (if anything, it looks as though the effect was to reduce inequality slightly). Studies have found the same to be true in other places like Europe and the US.

Jordan Jacobs BYC says... 2 months ago

How will the Bank of England work with central banks and regulators internationally to ensure consistent progression towards a cashless society around the globe?

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Good question - thank you!

Ramblingsofabard says... 2 months ago
Drastic volatility in sterling and expected fall in housing prices following a no deal scenario for UK’s withdrawal from EU, leaves the younger generation in a considerably worse off position than prior to the referendum. What are the banks plans to assist such a group in mitigating some of the harmful impacts of a no deal scenario. (Slightly off the money topic).
Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your question

Ramblingsofabard says... 2 months ago
Peer2peer networks are quite popular among youth given most file transfers (esp related to gaming and movies) have operated through such an infrastructure. This makes them more accepting of a P2P payments network than other generations. How does the bank ensure their protection in such a network? How does the bank educate them to further their understanding?
Hannah Gardner BYC says... 2 months ago

During this week of COP 24 talks in Katowice and in the light of the recent UN IPCC special report on Climate Change, does the Bank of England feel a renewed responsibility towards helping the UK transition to a green and low-carbon economy? How will the BoE plan to support the government in meeting its Paris Agreement obligations (requiring significantly increased spending by governments, the IPCC report urges) while also continuing to grow the UK economy? As a 17-year-old then, should I expect to drop the assumption that my generation will be wealthier than that of my parents in order to meet the 1.5C boundary?

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Thank you for your question!

Susie Williams BYC says... 2 months ago

How do you view the future of cash?

I agree that we are moving towards a cashless society, particularly now with Apple Pay and being able to swipe your phone and not have to carry any plastic, cash or your wallet with you. More and more companies are accepting payment in this way, and ones who aren't are being pressured by the now assumption that you don't need any cash or card but just your phone to pay.

 What are your concerns on moving to a cashless society, cyber-security or climate change?

If someone found out your iPhone code (very easy to do by looking over someone's shoulder), they could use Apple Pay and clear out your account very easily, as there is no limit like there is with Contactless payments. My concern is definitely cyber security as it is just so easy to spend another person's money. Who cares when someone looks over their shoulder when their opening their phone (which we do all the time)? People do still try to hide their PIN number and it is more secure than your phone. Also by using contactless cards they are easy to steal and then spend someone else's credit. Cash may be steal-able but it is limited (someone can only spend what they steal) and also there is no risk of identity fraud etc.

What actions would you like to see the financial sector take to limit the risks caused by these? 

1. More education for young people on how to keep their money safe - practical videos and engaging social media campaigns work really well for this

2. Explain the risks to people setting up accounts and getting contactless cards of what could happen if they are stolen, as well as measures to stop someone spending all your money

3. Build more of a relationship with young people so they know that the advice about protecting your money is important. I have never had an assembly or talk by anyone from a Bank, and there is a huge gap in education when it comes to finances, mortgages etc. If the financial sector had more input and engagement in young people's education this is a way to then support them to keep their money safe and reduce the risks of theft/fraud etc.


My question: Why is the bank and financial sector so uninvolved in children's education when finance is such a fundamental part (and skill) of life?

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 2 months ago

Thak you for your comments and questions! Please come back to see responses - Ben will try his hardest to answer as many as possible :)

I think it is worth noting that the Bank do produce Knowledge Bank videos and the Outreach team do meet with schools across the country to help share knowledge. But I agree there should be possibly more done in this area - but across society, as it cannot just sit with the Bank to be responsible for this, education programme needs to be updated.

Adam Walker BYC says... 2 months ago

Should financial education be a bigger part of of primary and early secondary school PSHE education?

Adam Walker BYC says... 2 months ago

Should information relating to  crypto-currencies be put in PSHE curriculum or are they too dangerous?

roryclarke says... 2 months ago


I think that cash should play an important part of the future of finance and money in England but we have to move forward with the widespread use of cards and non-physical monetary items. At the same time we have to be cautious about a cashless economy. It may cause several problems:

- Many small (especially independent) businesses do not have the facilities and equipment needed for card transactions and therefore still require the customer to have cash on them when purchasing, 

-One has to also take into account the security and risk of cyber-security crimes in England if we are to move forward into a more 'cashless' economy.

-Many people (especially the elderly) find it difficult to use online-banking and cards/ 'digital money' and would rather have to use cash instead.



How will brexit affect the financial environment in UK?

In what ways will the government and the Bank of England support those who disagree with cyber-currency and cards to the transition to a cashless economy?

What security measures will be implemented to protect peoples privacy in online banking and their spending habits?

How can you encourage us to save when the interest rates are so low? Why bother?


B Gate says... 2 months ago
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Adam Turner BYC says... 2 months ago

Thank you for answering our questions!

As a number of other commenters have stated, we seem to (especially amongst younger people) be moving to a cashless, and even a cardless payments space, with proprietary technologies such as ApplePay, Android/Google pay, Samsung-pay, etc.

Are current regulatory mechanisms enough to oversee all of these payment technologies, and could an independent standard work practically, across devices?


Secondly, will what currency is used (£, , $, etc) be relevant in the future? With cashless/mobile payments, it seems not to matter what currency is used, as if I pay in a foreign country (that has ApplePay/contactless), I don’t need to worry about what I’m paying in as it is automatically converted by the card company.

Can you envision a future where either there is a single global currency (or where this happens seamlessly), or is this a step too far into fantasy?

Katiravan Parthipan - BYC says... 2 months ago

In times of Economic uncertainty provoked by Brexit ,  will the Bank of England advocate the study of Financial Education / Economics for our schools ?

The current curriculum neglects this completely. We are only taught how to calculate interest rates but are not taught what affects the rate of interest . This makes 'adulthood' seem daunting for a young person, in the sense that we lack understanding of how money works and functions, This is very important, however overlooked by our Government.

This leads to poor financial decisions such as a life in debt , lack of budgeting and harming your credit rating, thus failing to secure a mortgage. The so called Prosperity being promised post Brexit fails to realise educating young people is the key to the solution.  Surely we should equip our nations future with all the tools they need - not neglecting what they truly need :  Financial Education.

Does the Bank of England see the importance of Financially educating our Future , If so when can we see a change in curriculum ?

Asia BYC says... 2 months ago

One main function of the BoE is to maintain monetary stability .To what extent can the BoE be able to grant a legitimate and secure transition to a cashless society whilst the risks in cyber-security are increasing  ;most importantly how are you advising the government on preparing to train the people ,particularly the young people , in dealing with the modern economy?


Theo Sergiou BYC says... 2 months ago

As the concept of currency and transfer rely on trust, what threat does moving to a cashless system have on people‘s faith in the value of money? Is it believed that a digital figure is as reliable as a tangible object? Would efforts are being implmineted to ensure that people’s faith in the value of money is remains high, through our technological revolution.

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Ben Broadbent says... 2 months ago

Good morning! I'm very happy to be on Future Forum today, discussing some of the big questions facing younger people over coming years: the future of cash, climate change and education. I'd like to thank the British Youth Council for its support and help with today's session. I look forward to hearing from you and will do my best to answer your questions! BB

Vicky BYC says... 2 months ago

Thank you so much for taking the time to engage with young people over their concerns for the future of money. 

Ben Broadbent says... 2 months ago

It's clear from all of the questions and comments submitted in advance for this session that the issue of financial education is one that many of you feel very strongly about. I thought I'd try to answer these in one post rather than responding to each one individually. 

We recognise that the Bank’s remit to deliver economic and financial stability gives it a great deal of influence over the British economy and therefore people’s lives. That makes it incumbent upon us to make as clear as possible to the British people what the Bank is doing on their behalf and why it matters to them. 

The Bank introduced a new education strategy in 2017.  The programme is designed to help equip the next generation of future adults with the tools and skills they need to understand the economy as well as the Bank’s role in it.  The economy is more relevant than ever to young people, but it is not a subject many understand or engage with. 

So in April 2018 we launched a secondary school teaching resource – econoME - which focuses on how the economy affects young people.  Linked to the national curriculum, the resource can help young people to understand what the Bank is, what it does and how it impacts on their own lives.

We are currently working on a new resource for primary schools which will be launched in Spring 2019. 

In January 2018 we also launched a programme of Bank staff visiting secondary schools across the UK to talk to students about the Bank and their work here. All our resources are free of charge and available on the Education pages of our website.

There's much more to be done and we're working really hard on this agenda. I know lots of other organisations in the financial sector and beyond are too, and my various visits to schools around the country gives me great encouragement about the amount of good work that's going on. Today's session has only underlined to me how important it is.

Ben Broadbent says... 2 months ago

Thank you for submitting your questions, unfortunately I have to log off now, but I have asked colleagues to respond to the questions I haven't had a chance to answer this morning. Thanks again to BYC for helping to generate such a wide ranging and interesting set of questions.  

Adam Turner BYC says... 2 months ago

Thank you for answering questions today - and giving such a wide insight into the current and future landscapes!

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