What is Institute status and why does it matter? 

When our founder Chris Budd had the idea of establishing a non-profit member-led organisation to define and facilitate a conversation about financial wellbeing, he wanted to name it ‘The Institute of Financial Wellbeing.’ It swiftly came to light that in the UK, the term Institute is protected.

In fact, it is Government-regulated and only awarded to ‘professional bodies of the highest standing.’

As a result, we named ourselves the Initiative for Financial Wellbeing, and began several years of refining our activities, ensuring we provided an abundance of high-quality learning opportunities to our members, as well as space for discussion and the advancement of ideas.

In July 2022, we received word from the Government that we have achieved Institute status by evidencing the calibre of the IFW’s activities. The final paperwork has now been signed off, so we will soon begin to use this highly prestigious term publicly.

What does this mean for IFW members?

In the day-to-day running of the IFW, nothing has changed. We will continue to provide the services and benefits members already enjoy, including access to talks and discussions, the IFW Mighty Networks community site, Kartra resources portal and regular newsletters and bulletins.

At some point our official name and branding will change from the ‘Initiative for Financial Wellbeing’ to the ‘Institute for Financial Wellbeing.’

The biggest benefit of this change, however, is in the long-term.

The IFW aims to facilitate, encourage and drive conversations around how we can help the finance sector to be a more positive space both for experts (planners, coaches, and paraplanners) and your clients.

Eventually, we want to be able to influence the financial services industry to make a positive evolution in the way it works with clients, shifting the viewpoint of money as the goal to money being a tool to use to attain life goals. The role financial wellbeing plays in this is in helping clients identify and express what they really want and why.

Institute status is a major step in achieving this goal, as it emphasises the authority we have earned in gaining this status and helps us to amplify our argument for a focus on financial wellbeing for the long-term benefit of clients and the financial services industry.