A Letter from President and CEO Jennifer Tescher
The coronavirus pandemic is first and foremost a public health crisis, and the most important thing we all can do to stop the spread of the virus is to stay home. Doing so, however, creates immense financial health repercussions, particularly for the most vulnerable among us. We can all see the economic fallout through rapid increases in unemployment claims, stories on social media, and in the challenges our own family members may be facing.
The question now is, What can we do? How can we help?
Collectively, we have been preparing for a moment like this – conducting research to understand the real financial lives of the people we do business with, measuring financial health in America, and designing new products, policies and experiences to help improve it. This special section is designed to provide the data, solutions and connections needed to buttress financial health in America during the coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath.
In the near term, we will share our informed analysis on the impact of the virus on vulnerable populations, leveraging our data assets to back up individual stories of hardship with the facts and figures that explain the broader context of people’s financial lives. Particularly instructive is the data from the U.S. Financial Health Pulse, an annual, nationally representative survey that measures the financial health of over 5,000 people across numerous dimensions over time. We have added several questions to the 2020 survey to gauge the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and we expect to have initial results by May.
Additionally, we will serve as a hub for collecting and sharing information about what business leaders are doing to be part of the solution. We are actively gathering details from Financial Health Network Members, Financial Solutions Lab innovators, and other stakeholders about the actions they are taking to help their employees, their customers, and the broader community. We have already begun making connections between organizations that are in search of partners to provide the solutions their students, workers and customers need.
Finally, we want to help promote and magnify the efforts of others who are working hard to bring critical thinking and resources to our collective communities. Through this hub, we have provided a few opportunities to engage and share with us and encourage you to reach out.
The financial implications of the pandemic on families and on the economy as a whole will almost certainly live on beyond the virus. We are already beginning to consider the new normal that will emerge in the coming months and how, together, we can design the integrated financial health system this country needs so that everyone can thrive. Through a series of virtual events and digital content, we will engage business leaders, policymakers and innovators across sectors to envision the future we want, a future in which there is financial health for all.
I invite you to join us in this generation-defining work.