Tackling theSavings GapFairnessEmpowermentSocial MobilityPledgeHarrisonCentre forSocial MobilityOpportunity

Whether it is the opportunity to get a job in financial services irrespective of your background, or the chance to save and invest to achieve more financial security, we use our expertise to remove barriers and create opportunities.

It’s why we have campaigned tirelessly to close the Savings Gap. We have developed world-leading technology to make investing quick, easy and low cost. We’ve levelled the playing field meaning anyone with just a £1 can invest in funds that the industry often reserves for the very wealthy.

Our commitment to a fair opportunity for all is what drives our belief in social mobility – the principle that how far you go in life should be about personal effort and talent not background or where you come from.

Tackling the Savings Gap

One of the barriers to social mobility is financial insecurity.

It is a fact that only a minority of UK savers will have enough funds set aside for a comfortable retirement or even to allow some breathing space during difficult times. We call this the Savings Gap. Sixteen million people in Britain are believed to have savings of less than £100 with which to absorb unexpected events, acting as a brake on social mobility.

Our research shows people believe that they’ll need £23,000 annually in retirement to live comfortably. Based on actual saving behaviour, however, people in the UK are on course to receive an income of just £6,000 per year from their retirement fund.

The result of this is the Savings Gap and True Potential is leading one of the largest campaigns to tackle it.
We have:

  • built world-first impulseSave technology, making it possible to invest from just £1 on the go from smart devices, enabling everyone to get started and begin closing their savings gap;
  • eliminated barriers to investing by making it possibe for anyone to open an investment account with just £1;
  • partnered with leading fund managers including UBS, Allianz, Goldman Sachs and others to make world-class investments available to all;
  • raised the bar on financial education in the UK by opening the £1.4m True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance, based at the Open University Business School. More than 400,000 members of the public have taken part in the Centre’s free online money courses, covering budgeting, saving and investing.

The Social Mobility Pledge

In April 2018, True Potential became one of the first companies in the UK to sign the national Social Mobility Pledge – a campaign founded by our chairman, David Harrison, and the former Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Justine Greening MP.

By signing the Social Mobility Pledge, businesses commit to working with schools, offering apprenticeships and adopting fair recruitment polices. The aim is to create a more level playing field where an individual’s career chances are based on their talent, not where they come from or who they know.

In its first year, more than 2 million employees in the UK became covered by the Social Mobility Pledge after some of Britain’s largest businesses followed True Potential in signing up. They include John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Vodafone, ITV, BT, Adidas, Tesco, Thomas Cook and many others. True Potential chairman David Harrison explains why he was moved to set up the Social Mobility Pledge.

“Like many of the people I grew up with in County Durham, I probably would have had to find work down a coal pit in the late sixties and seventies.”

However, through his ambitious entrepreneurial streak, he carved out his own social mobility journey and has made a hugely successful Fintech business at True Potential.

“Accent, upbringing and family connections with people at the top of organisations still unfairly influence recruitment and promotions in many workplaces,” David said.

“That has always struck me as unfair to employees and counter-productive to businesses. I had to battle against that tide when I was starting out, so I was determined that True Potential should help to level the playing field for young people today. Social mobility benefits individuals, local communities, companies and the wider national economy.”

Justine Greening MP said: “It’s fantastic to see so many employees and sectors represented by the Pledge but there is more to do. I want to see a country in which talent and potential – and not upbringing or where a person is from – are the foremost considerations that determine how far you can go in life.”

Here’s how we’ve implemented the Social Mobility Pledge at True Potential:

  • True Potential has partnered with the Beacon of Light School in Sunderland. It promotes education by delivering ground-breaking programmes to improve learning via engaging purpose-built classrooms, innovative teaching techniques and interactive spaces.
  • More than 30 apprentices are now gaining valuable experience at True Potential, learning key IT and digital skills. Several former apprentices now have full-time employed roles at True Potential.
  • Working in partnership with our recruitment agencies, True Potential has adopted name-blind recruitment. This places a greater emphasis on a candidate’s complete background and achievements when assessing their suitability for the roles we offer at True Potential.

Harrison Centre for Social Mobility

The Harrison Centre for Social Mobility was founded by True Potential’s chairman, David Harrison and chief executive Daniel Harrison, to provide advice and financial support to charities that are helping people, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, to learn new skills.

The Harrison Centre also looks for new ways to tackle long-standing social mobility issues with practical support. One example of this is the Beacon of Light in Sunderland.

Young people on Wearside are now able to access work training and football coaching after the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility donated £80,000 to the project.

The donation has enabled the creation of a dedicated workshop inside the Beacon of Light, with an educational programme to improve skills and access to employment for local people. This includes a pathway into True Potential’s technology development academy, opening up the opportunity of a career in financial services. The Harrison Centre and the Beacon runs four programmes aimed at young people from the age of 14 to 19+.

Harrison Centre founder David Harrison said: “The Harrison Centre’s partnership with the Beacon of Light aims to inspire a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs as well as provide support and education to those in the community who need it most. This is an outstanding facility and will certainly be a game-changer in the North East.

“I was lucky growing up because I discovered at a relatively young age, something that I was good at and enjoyed doing. But it came from trying different things and being around people who motivated me. There is more pressure on youngsters nowadays and through the Harrison Centre and the Beacon, we hope to help more of them reach their potential.”

Clare Wilson, Head of Partnerships at the Beacon of Light, added: “We’re delighted to welcome the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility to the Beacon of Light.

“The centre will help teenagers and young people gain the skills, confidence and experience necessary to get a great step up in the world of work.

“Their ethos sits perfectly alongside ours to provide life-changing opportunities to those most in-need within our region – and their generous donation will have an impact on this community for many years to come.”