The UK is facing a silent personal financial crisis. One in three adults cannot afford a £500 ($676) emergency1 and one in four households have under £100 ($135) in savings.2 Unsecured debt has tripled over the last 20 years3 to an average of £15,000 ($20,000) per household and is predicted to rise. Rather than helping struggling families, the current financial system often makes things worse through hidden fees and charges that take advantage of our very human mental shortcuts, and consequently has lost consumer trust. Yonder puts forward a proposal for the world’s first fully digital credit union, asking how its radical anti-poverty roots could be combined with the latest behavioral science and AI research to rebuild our financial system with community, common purpose, and mindfulness at its heart.
1 Ben Tobin, “One in three middle class Brits would struggle to pay a £500 bill,” YouGov, June 8, 2016.
2 Brian Milligan, “Millions have less than £100 in savings, study finds,” BBC, September 29, 2016.
3 “Household debt in Great Britain: April 2016 to March 2018,” Office for National Statistics, December 5, 2019.