What is the FairLife Charity

The FairLife Charity is improving everyone’s lives by improving the finance products we use everyday (e.g. loans, mortgages, savings, pensions) and promoting financial education.

  • A fair trading initiative for all areas of finance
  • A route to companies that price honestly and trade fairly with their customers

The FairLife Mark spans all areas of finance:

  • Fair trading ensures that what you buy is fairly traded and honestly priced
  • Financial education helps you to save money and choose what you need with confidence
  • Social impact encourages all organisations to help you be more financially secure

These three areas are complimentary; each on its own is much less effective. It’s about building knowledge and trust; knowledge to know what you need and trust in the products you rely on.

The FairLife Charity is fully independent and is being gifted to the nation by passing ownership to other leading charities and not-for-profits.  Current owners include The National Union of Students and AdviceUK.  Money raised by licencing the FairLife Mark is used to teach financial education in the country's schools and to promote good personal finance from school to retirement.

What is fair trading in finance?

The fair trading mark represents a pledge to price honestly and trade fairly with customers:

  • The provider must follow the spirit as well as the letter of any agreed regulator’s rules and principles with an emphasis on treating customers fairly
  • The provider must adhere to agreed sources of profit.  Any extra fees or charges being designed only to cover additional costs and not to generate additional profits

Trading fairly means following the spirit of the law, with an emphasis on treating customers fairly.  That’s a broad criterion, and we have a system for clarifying its meaning as required.

Pricing honestly means going a step further than fair trading.  It's a commitment to profit only from agreed sources of profit.  That’s a big ask.  There are not many products that currently meet these standards, because profiting from hidden sources is good business.  It makes your headline price seem cheaper than the competition, which is why many good businesses feel compelled to use the same practices.

In taking the FairLife pledge providers are agreeing to embrace good practice within the constraints of the market and to avoid poor practice which although legal is considered avoidable on a voluntary basis by their peers.

Over time the FairLife Mark will bring an end to sneaky fees and rip-off penalty charges.  An end to profiting from people's misfortunes and vulnerabilities.  Many good firms want to rid their industry of these practises, but to do it they need your help (see About/Why it's Needed).

Fair trading is defined in dictionaries as the act of trading legally, fairly and honestly.  It is most valuable when one group is much weaker than the other (such as you dealing with a bank).  By trading fairly the stronger group chooses not to exploit the weaker one.  

Three things the FairLife Mark does not say:

  1. A product is best value.
  2. A product is suitable for you.
  3. Individuals are not responsible for their own financial decisions.

A bad choice may lead to a bad outcome regardless of the FairLife Mark; so still do some checking.

The FairLife Mark will lead to a fairer society where effort is rewarded but nobody is exploited.  Together with financial education this will help everyone to live happier lives and plan for their futures with confidence.

The FairLife Mark is on your side