“Real-time financial dashboard for every citizen is societal task”

05 april 2022 • 3 minuten lezen

The current turmoil in the world is creating financial uncertainty among citizens. How will inflation affect our old age? What does ageing mean for healthcare costs and the state pension? How much wealth should you build up as a self-employed person to have a good pension? There is an increasing call for a universal 'personal financial dashboard'. As of September, a pilot with this will start. ‘It is of great social importance. Who will participate?’

The initiator of such a Personal Financial Overview is Clint van Haalen. He is general manager of the Topicus Finance division, which develops IT solutions with which financial institutions share information with their customers. Think of the personal 'my environment' of banks, mortgage lenders and pension insurers. Van Haalen still sees enormous fragmentation in the information on offer in the market: ‘In the Universal Pension Overview, you may see the pension pots of various providers, but that only concerns pensions. How convenient would it be to have all your own information together - savings, mortgage, home, investments, other assets - all in one real-time overview?’

Job-hoppers and part time workers

Such a clear dashboard is important, especially now. Besides inflation and rising housing costs, more factors than ever are causing financial uncertainty. The increase in flexibility of labour and the huge increase in the number of self-employed people also increases citizens' need for real-time insight into their financial situation and old-age provision. ‘Old certainties such as fixed contracts and fixed pensions are disappearing,’ Van Haalen stressed.

‘We will launch a pilot lab for 'Personal Financial Overview' this autumn’

Clint van Haalen

Such changes directly affect people's lives and the stability of society. Think of young people buying a nice house in the city center of Utrecht, with a mortgage they can barely afford or finance now, partly by choosing a short fixed-interest period. What will happen if mortgage rates rise later, and houses become unaffordable? Or if pension fund returns are disappointing and healthcare costs rise dramatically? Such a 'Personal Financial Overview' provides clarity for major choices in your life. It not only shows the status of your current assets, but also allows you to view scenarios: what will change in case of major events such as an unexpected divorce, inability to work or - more positively - a sabbatical?”

Trial in autumn

Technically, such a dashboard is relatively easy to build, Van Haalen stresses. ‘The main challenge is getting the right parties around the table and getting them to cooperate openly and transparently - in the interest of the citizen.’ He cites the arrival of a new pension system as the reason to put heads together. ‘Soon, as a working person, you will have more control over your pension. If you want to be able to make the right choices, you need the right insights into your personal finances. Then you will know whether you need to make some extra contributions, or whether you have enough in reserve.’

‘If you have one overview of your complete financial situation, you can make better choices’

Clint van Haalen

Van Haalen is aware of the social importance. That is why he is launching a 'trial' in September. ‘We will work with various financial institutions and governments to build a small-scale environment in which we will bring data of all their financial affairs together for test subjects. Bank balance, income, savings, mortgage, investments, annuities, pension pots - even your crypto wallet can go into it. And we are calling on all kinds of providers to do so, for the widest possible test.’

Connected finance

In that test, Van Haalen wants to challenge institutions to stop thinking in pilars, instead think in the interests of citizens. ‘The domains of mortgages, savings, annuities and investments are now often separated; we want to connect them,’ he says. Van Haalen also invites the advice chain, tax advisers, pension funds and the national government to join in this trial. No more compartmentalization but connected finance! Finally, he sees great value in peer groups with large constituencies, such as the Homeowners Association.

If such a dashboard is in place soon, financial advisers will also have a prominent role, predicts Van Haalen. ‘Whereas now they are often intermediaries who mainly sell products such as mortgages or loans, they will have an important task as financial coaches in all kinds of areas, helping them to make the right choices. Such a coach shows your current financial insight and how much space there is for the things you want at this moment, and what your pension will look like later. This dashboard and these kinds of coaches give citizens more insight into and grip on their financial situation. And that is desperately needed!’


Source: NRC