CHASM financial research


'Britain's personal debt is increasing by £1 million every four minutes.'

At a time of growing economic uncertainty, responsibility for key financial assets is shifting from the state to the individual but the nation is ill-equipped to manage this responsibility.

The University is creating a centre for financial research to provide independent advice for the government, businesses and individuals, helping to support the country’s financial recovery.

The need

For many people the concept of preparing for the future and creating wealth by investing in property, pensions, shares and savings is over. Nearly a quarter of the largest companies on the UK stock market will be unable to pay off their pension deficits and, at current trends, 2 million households will enter negative equity by 2010. Everyone is going to have to work longer, partly because we’re not, as a nation, going to save as much for retirement as we did in the past.

At the same time, responsibility for pensions, housing and savings is moving from the state to the individual. The role and regulation of those who advise us within the financial services industry will therefore require urgent independent analysis.

The solution

There is clearly an urgent need for an impartial, evidence-based centre to provide quantitative and qualitative research to inform and influence government policy makers, industry and Third Sector leaders as well as the general public.


Birmingham will address this need through CHASM - the Centre for Household Assets and Savings Management - the UK’s first university-based, interdisciplinary research centre to focus on these issues.


The University’s nucleus of internationally recognised academic excellence across a range of subjects, its contacts in the financial services sector and its extensive international links place it in an unique position to provide a focus for world-class research.

The result  


  • Improved financial capability and inclusion for the wider population
  • Sound and appropriate financial advice made widely available
  • Overall improved financial wellbeing and confidence for individuals to support the country’s broader economic recovery and ongoing stability
  • Quantitative and qualitative research to inform and influence policy makers

How you can help

To become the UK’s primary academic centre in this field, CHASM will need a world-class staff. You can help by funding key staff positions such as the Director and the very best research fellows and PhD students to conduct new research across the key themes and to inform policy as quickly as possible.


Match-funding means the government will give the University £1 for every £3 donated until 2011. For further information about supporting the project, contact Matt Mangan, tel +44(0)121 4448640. 


Learn more about CHASM on the centre's new website at










University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
Tel: +44 121 414 2773. Email:

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