This recent research from Neyber highlights that there are an estimated 17.5 million hours of lost productivity across businesses in the UK each year due to employees worrying about money.

In any business, and especially given where we are in terms of our economy, productivity and output, this highlights a significant problem and one that if solved could plug a big hole in the UK's productivity gap.

And what is the answer to plug that gap? Helping employees to become more financially aware, giving them the tools, guidance, confidence and support to improve their own finances, to make the most of their employment benefits and enhance their financial wellbeing immediately and for their future.

Through their reward and benefits, employers provide most people with the mainstay to fund their lifestyle throughout their career as well as for their retirement. So employers are in a hugely influential position to help people to make the most of their money and improve their financial wellbeing.

Whilst there is an increasing interest in employers arranging financial wellbeing programmes for their staff, our research (May 2016) showed that currently only 24% of wellbeing strategies include financial wellbeing. And of those that do, almost a third (29%) only  offer this via their EAP/ debt counselling service.

Financial wellbeing is more than just debt counselling and a financial wellbeing strategy should help all employees: those planning for retirement, those looking for a mortgage/ remortgage, carers, those going through a divorce, those affected by reduced annual/ lifetime pension allowances, those dealing with a loved ones estate, new parents worried about protecting their family and future income and so on.

At Close Brothers, our approach to financial wellbeing is simple; an inclusive programme for everyone and targeted support for those that need it most.