Last week, America Saves hosted the National Savings Forum. We covered a lot of ground, including the national costs of the lack of household savings, the importance of emergency savings, how to encourage good savings products, and if savings is a key American value.
Thanks to an insightful and engaged audience, we even trended on Twitter. Here are some of our favorite moments from the event.
We opened the forum with the macro view from economists on whether there is a national cost for the lack of household savings, and if so where to look for solutions. The tax code, banking side products, regulation, innovation, and “Know Your Customer” pr
ovisions were discussed as possibilities.
From there, we went to the micro level and examined the importance of emergency savings.
We realized that while income and spending volatility aren’t new, they are newly recognized as drivers of financial behavior and should increasingly be considered in making policy decisions. We talked about the role that savings products play in supporting savings behavior and that existing savings products need to be marketed and used more effectively; but, existing products don't really serve low-to-moderate income consumers and new products need to be created that do. We know there is a lot of work to be done and policy can drive the formation of products that support small dollar saving.
When polled, a majority of attendees said that saving isn’t an American value, but the discussion illustrated that perhaps it is a latent value, and that we need to create and galvanize constituents and stakeholders around the importance of savings. This effort needs to address more than “money.” We also need to address the psychological and emotional components around savings to motivate behavior change.
America Saves was also pleased to announce the 34 banks and credit unions that received the America Saves Designation of Savings Excellence. The designation recognized banks and credit unions that went above and beyond to encourage people to save money during America Saves Week and/or Military Saves Week. You can see the full list of recipients here.
We left the conference with new ideas and a determination to broaden the fields promoting and supporting saving. We thank everyone for coming, appreciate the support and participation of the co-conveners, and applaud the moderators and the panelists who did a fabulous job.
Here’s what the people from the forum thought
Throughout the day, we polled audience members about their outlook on savings. Here’s what they had to say:
The National Savings Forum was presented by the Consumer Federation of America’s America Saves Campaign, Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, Bank of America, CFED, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, Conference of State Bank Supervisors, Credit Union National Association, Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, National Credit Union Foundation, New America, and the Pew Charitable Trusts.
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