Financial Education, quo vadis?

At the crossroad of individual empowerment

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

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


​Keynote Speech
Panel 1: Financial education at a crossroad of individual empowerment

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 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?

​Panel 2: Measuring impact of Financial Education. Quo vadis? ​

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?

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 basics principles such as compound interest. In five of these MS, 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?  

Confirmed Speakers

Caroline Jenner, CEO of Junior Achievement Europe

Kristof De Witte, Associate Professor at KU Leuven; Wikifin, Research Chair on Financial Literacy

Adele Atkinson, Senior Policy Analyst at OECD

Philip List, Director of Erste Financial Life Park (FLiP)

Danièle Vander Espt, Director Financial Education at Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA)​

Jean Paul Servais, Chairman at Financial Services and Markets Authority ​(FSMA)​

Aleksandra Maczynska, Executive Director of Better Finance

Silvia Singer, Director of MIDE, Interactive Museum of Economics