Financial Education, quo vadis?

At the crossroad of individual empowerment

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Venue: WSBI-ESBG premises (11 Rue Marie-Thérèse,​ 1000, Brussels)


​Opening Remarks
  • Chris De Noose, Managing Director of WSBI-ESBG
​​Keynote Speech
  • Silvia Singer, CEO of MIDE, Interactive Museum of Economics​ in Mexico

Panel 1: Financial education at a crossroad of individual empowerment
  • Robin Edme, Senior Policy Officer Green and Sustainable Finance at DG FI​SMA, European Commission
  • Elwin Groenevelt, President of the European Microfinance Network​
  • Caroline Jenner, CEO of Junior Achievement Europe
  • Aleksandra Maczynska, Executive Director of Better Finance
  • Eszter Salamon, Executive Director at Parents International
  • Cédric Turini, Corporate Social Responsibility Director at National Federation of French Savings Banks​

Raising the levels of financial literacy seems to be the way forward when it comes to making societies more inclusive and boosting citizen empowerment, ultimately contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. Although often not quoted as “financial education", fostering entrepreneurship and certain skills does provide citizens, and particularly the youth, with the necessary tools to succeed in life. In this respect and when adequately targeted, specific financial education programmes can foster gender equality. Moreover, financial education can play an important role when enhancing a greater understanding of the role of finance, a prerequisite to a fairer world. What role is finance in respect of  financial education called to play to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Agenda, and where are the boundaries? Is financial education equal to empowerment, if so, how?  What more could be done to champion good practice?

​Coffee Break
​Panel 2: Measuring impact of Financial Education. Quo vadis? ​
  • Adele Atkinson, Senior Policy Analyst at OECD
  • Kristof De Witte, Associate Professor at KU Leuven; Wikifin, Research Chair on Financial Literacy
  • Philip List, Director of Erste Financial Life Park (FLiP)
  • Silvia Singer, CEO of MIDE, Interactive Museum of Economics​ in Mexico
  • Danièle Vander Espt, Director Financial Education at Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA)​
Are objectives being met? Does it really work? Questions that often arise, given the growing interest and proliferation of financial education programmes. How can we build on existing evaluation guidance, such as the methods and toolkits developed by the OECD? What is the specific role of research moving forward? By way of example, challenges may occur when evaluating the impact of initiatives at national level, or of finance museums, both players being well placed to reach out to the public. Should more efforts be devoted to impact measurement before undertaking more initiatives?

​Panel 3: Financial Education, a complement to consumer and investor protection legislation?
  • Adele Atkinson, Senior Policy Analyst at OECD
  • Santiago Escudero, Retail Banking Expert, European Banking Authority (EBA)
  • Mónica Malo, Communications and External Relations Manager, CECA
  • Wolfgang Neumann, Director at the EU Representation of the German Savings Banks Association
  • Jean Paul Servais, Chairman at Financial Services and Markets Authority ​(FSMA)​
  • Carlos Trias Pinto,  Member of the European Economic and Social Comm​ittee (EESC​)​
A survey on financial literacy ran by the OECD in 2016, in which 13 EU Member States took part, suggests that in 11 of them, less than 40% of the adult population is able to understand very basic principles such as compound interest. In five of these member states, this figure would even be equal or below 30%. Low levels of financial literacy, combined with the current low interest rate environment, financial innovation, digitalisation, decreasing public pension schemes, and increasing responsibility on households, are likely to raise consumer and investor protection concerns. What role is there to play by financial education when creating a robust basis to empower consumers? And what could be the role of the regulators  in this endeavour?  

Closing Remarks
  • Wilhelm Krätschmer – Chair of WSBI-ESBG Corporate Social Responsibility – Sustainable Development Committee

>>Read the article about the event and see pictures​