Competency Framework: savings

Technical Domains

6. Savings

This domain is about issues relating to savings, including: developing a savings habit; affordability of saving; types of savings; different types of savings products; sources of support; scams. The domain comprises Tiers 1 and 2. 

It is important that you are aware of where the regulated boundaries are and do not go beyond them (please refer to ‘The boundaries of the service and of your role’ and the description of advice and guidance). Guidance should provide information and/or options on the customers' choice of savings product (i.e. easy access, ISAs etc.) without making an explicit recommendation. 

6.1.1 Awareness of the benefits of saving
6.1.2 Awareness of strategies to help people save and overcome behavioural barriers (e.g. using a separate account for saving; saving on payday rather than at the end of the month etc.)
6.1.3 Awareness of the differences between saving versus borrowing
6.1.4 Awareness of the difference between savings and investments
6.1.5 Awareness of the availability of a broad range of savings products on the market, including informal savings products
6.1.6 Awareness of how to set up regular payments into a savings account
6.1.7 Awareness of how to compare the features of different savings products
6.1.8 Signpost or refer customers to appropriate sources of information on savings products, including price comparison sites.
6.1.9 Awareness of scams and what to do if a customer has been the subject of a scam
6.2.1 Understanding of how to calculate the affordability of saving and the factors to take into account (e.g. using a budget planner)
6.2.2 Understanding of how to calculate the minimum savings required to provide security for an individual, based on their individual circumstances (e.g. income and outgoings)
6.2.3 Understanding of the difference between simple and compound interest
6.2.4 Understanding of ways of maximising savings
6.2.5 Understanding of the circumstances in which investments may be suitable for an individual to consider, and the risks involved
6.2.6 Understanding of mechanisms and behaviours for developing a savings habit
6.2.7 Knowledge of the broad range of savings products available on the market (e.g. easy access, notice savings, ISAs etc.)
6.2.8 Knowledge of the range of accounts available for different age groups (e.g. children’s accounts and trusts etc.) the range of taxable and non-taxable savings products, the advantages and disadvantages of each
6.2.9 Knowledge of ways of increasing tax efficiency (e.g. use of tax-free savings products: ISAs etc.)
6.2.10 Knowledge of the Personal Savings Allowance
3.1.1 Awareness of the common types of debt on which customers typically seek advice and guidance (e.g. credit cards, loans, council tax/rates etc.)
2.1.2 Awareness of the difference between priority and non-priority debts
2.1.3 Awareness of the likely triggers for debt
2.1.4 Awareness of reasons why individuals might seek out loans from illegal or dubious source such as loan sharks, family and friends and typical issues this can cause
2.1.5 Determine if customers are managing to keep up with payments, if they cannot cope, or if there is an urgent situation (e.g. enforcement agents)
2.1.6 Signpost or refer customers to appropriate local and national organisations that provide advice and guidance on debt issues and sources of support
2.1.7 Support customers in accessing online portals and using toolkits, which might include completing information on their behalf
2.1.8 Provide factual information in response to specific, targeted questions (e.g. describing a debt management plan; individual voluntary arrangement etc.)
2.1.9 Awareness of scams and what to do if a customer has been the subject of a scam

Training and qualifications

Find out about external training for the savings domain.

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