$50 for your first 3 months They were a huge hit. Abdul (not his real name), a former asylum seeker from Somalia who now works at the camp, insists it’s not so bad. But she knows one thing — in line with her Muslim heritage and sharia restrictions on interest-bearing debt, she is concerned about borrowing. “We developed a series of short films featuring Ken and Barbie puppets. This, he says, is crucial financial literacy in practice. “What a shame it is that we have a huge repository of financial literacy in one tiny part of the country and huge need for it ­everywhere else,” he says. But as many migrants will attest, the biggest hurdles — both societally and financially — come after securing asylum. financial literacy was certainly one of the aggravating factors leading to ill-informed decisions on mortgage loans. “We owe it to women, who are bearing the brunt of this crisis, to make sure they are equipped with the financial knowledge to recover.” But, she stresses, the mission must be far broader than that: literacy in finance, like literacy in language, must be instilled in any community that lacks it. By this age, they should have a simple understanding of taxes, simple interest, credit, and debt. In this overwhelmingly white corner of the UK, hunkered down among the picturesque countryside, sit the old Nissen huts and barbed wire fences of Penally Military Camp. The sudden responsibility of having to manage their own money often shocks young adults when they become financially independent. “There are armies of people who left school knowing their SOHCAHTOA [trigonometry mnemonic] and how to find a first derivative, never to use them again,” she says. Anne Richards, chief executive of investment giant Fidelity International, worked at the Cern nuclear research centre before moving into finance. What if you can’t pay it back? In seven countries, including Russia, Romania and Indonesia, a majority of people had savings that would sustain them for only a week or less, or did not know. “These are victims of torture, rape survivors who may have been through abduction,” says Blair. They joined the 30,000 or so migrants who apply for asylum in Britain every year — morphing overnight from property-owning middle-class Venezuelans into survivors of breadline Britain. You have to pay for water?’. Burton on Trent The shift towards a myriad choice of financial products, self-determined retirement planning and sometimes unscrupulous companies that seek to exploit us has made it steadily more important for all of us to have a firm grasp of basic finance. But she believes that real-world money maths is likely to be far more useful to most people than the abstruse mathematical concepts taught in the classroom. But the camp is back in use, penning in more than 200 asylum seekers who were moved here in September from elsewhere in the country. As a country, we’ve seen where a lack of personal … (Answers at the bottom of the article). “This is a painful process. Perhaps the building blocks of how mortgages, credit cards, insurance and pensions work might be more useful than trigonometry. One client got a water bill. All have been shown by academic research to fall below average levels of understanding in basic finance, increasing the likelihood that they will be unable to budget efficiently, will get into unsustainable debt or will be open to exploitation. (To Lusardi’s chagrin, Italy routinely scores worse than almost any other developed country, especially for women.). Growing up in a just-about-managing former market town on the fringes of the south Wales valleys, with a music teacher dad and a psychologist mum, there weren’t many signs to suggest I would develop an interest in finance. Follow @FTMag on Twitter to find out about our latest stories first. “I never imagined becoming an asylum seeker,” says Carlos Ibarra-Rivadeneira, speaking by Zoom from his spartan flat in Swansea, 30 miles along the coast from Penally — and 4,500 miles from home. 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