Managing my financial journey
Managing my financial journey

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Managing my financial journey

Week 1: The origins and development of financial services


Welcome to Managing my financial journey – a four-week course that looks at the UK financial services industry today, its origins and its contemporary challenges. The course also explores the way that financial firms are regulated and looks at how the rights and interests of consumers are protected.

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Hello. Welcome to Managing my financial journey - the course that examines the financial services industry in the UK, its evolution, its features and challenges today and its relationship with us, the public, who use its products.
We also look closely at the way financial services are regulated - that's been changing a lot in the UK and elsewhere in recent years and we learn how consumer protection operates.
Given the scale of the impact financial services products - like mortgages and pensions - on household finances the need for effective regulation of product sales is paramount.
The financial services industry is a huge industry globally and in the UK close to 1 million are directly employed in it. The industry makes a huge positive contribution to the UK's balance of payments and to the government's tax revenues (although in the late 2000s some banks became beneficiaries of government money when they were rescued from collapse).
In this first week, we trace the development of the industry from its early days up until the global financial crisis in the late 2000s. We look at the origins of banking and insurance and the growth and contraction of the building society sector. We explore the development of the London Stock Exchange and the emergence of investment funds. We also study the events which changed the industry in the 1980s through the so-called 'liberalisation of financial services', the growth of home ownership and the changes to pension products as well as the structural changes to the industry termed 'Big Bang' that occurred in 1986. We also review the many changes to regulation of financial services that occurred after the 1980s before ending the week by examining the causes and consequences of the near-calamitous events that comprised the global financial crisis in 2007 and 2008. There's a lot to learn as we sweep through several centuries of financial services history.
So do enjoy the week.
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In this first week you will trace the evolution of financial services all the way from the sixteenth century right up to the modern day. There is a particular focus on developments in the last 30 years – including the 2007/08 global financial crisis, which saw parts of the industry in meltdown. Certainly the crisis has affected the structure and operations of the industry today – particularly in terms of how financial firms are now regulated.

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You will begin by tracing financial services back to their roots.

Note: ‘firms’ and ‘companies’

Throughout this course ‘firm’ is used as the collective term for all non-governmental institutions including companies (owned by shareholders), mutual organisations (owned by customers), partnerships and sole traders. This aligns with the use of the term by regulators in the UK. The specific terms ‘company’ or ‘mutual’, etc. are only used when the content relates to such types of firms or when the terms are used within the name of a type of financial product (e.g. company pension, company bond).

This course is presented with the kind support of True Potential LLP.

The True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (True Potential PUFin) is a pioneering Centre of Excellence for research in the development of personal financial capabilities. The establishment and activities of True Potential PUFin have been made possible thanks to the generous support of True Potential LLP, which has committed to a five-year programme of financial support for the Centre totalling £1.4 million.


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