Principles In Finance

Posted by editor 19/11/2013 0 Comment 3307 views

principlesin fin

Delivering personal finance advice in prisons is the goal of three-year-old charity Principles In Finance, reports Danielle Aumord. //

From corporate banker to charity founder, Simone Haynes has been making use of the financial skills she developed during a 9-year stint at Barclays Bank. Principles In Finance has delivered workshops in prisons since its inception in 2010 and also provides workshops for other vulnerable groups, such as people diagnosed with HIV, homeless people, refugees, carers and the elderly.

“I feel extremely proud and honoured to work with some amazing people that have been labelled due to having criminal records,” she says passionately.  “They are not bad people; they have just made some bad choices. We aim to educate client groups about the principles of personal financial management, to help them in gaining a better understanding of both how money works and the consequences of debt.”


To kickstart the organisation Simone took voluntary redundancy from Barclays Bank in 2009, and used this opportunity to develop the services that she now offers. “I used all of my annual leave that year to deliver free workshops. This helped to build my reputation and gain access into prisons.”

According to the National Offender Management Service 48 per cent of prisoners have a history of debt and 60 per cent are excluded from accessing services such as bank accounts.

In light of this, Principles In Finance (PIF) provides training and financial guidance to client groups who do not have access to such advice.

“Personal finance is one of the main causes for prisoners to re-offend,” says Haynes, as she explains her key motivations behind leaving the corporate world to run these workshops. “The idea for financial literacy classes in prison came to me after my nephew was in custody. He shared with me how inadequate the provision was in terms of financial advice.”

Currently PIF operates 11 prisons including younger offenders’ institute Feltham and women’s prison HMP Peterborough. “We are also aiming to provide paid internships for ex-offenders and have recently introduced entrepreneurship training,” adds Haynes.

The entrepreneurship training program is the first of many more life-changing programmes in development tailored specifically for this client group. Initially the work  is focused upon assisting a core group of rehabilitating young offenders to launch their own businesses.

Principles In Finance have also just formed a volunteer’s partnership with Simone’s ex-employees, Barclays Bank, to assist them in delivering their work. All in all, despite bleak statistical predictions in general for people leaving custody, these workshop participants look set to break the mould.

For the students of Principles In Finance, as they begin to implement newly cut skills in both their everyday lives and their budding business ventures, the future looks pretty positive.


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