Updated: July 2020
WSBI-ESBG members have a longstanding tradition of promoting financial educational programmes, as they are part of the DNA of savings and retail banks and a core element of their CSR policy.
Understanding how money works is not always easy, especially for the younger generations. In the current context, building financial skills and empowerment is more important than ever and financial education programmes can be a good way to achieve this objective. Furthermore, financial literacy is becoming increasingly important from a digital perspective as technology and digitalisation play a fundamental role in the banking sector, with the emergence of cryptocurrencies, robo-advisors and cybersecurity concerns.
Savings and retail banks carry out numerous financial education initiatives tailored to younger generations, entrepreneurs, households and elderly people that reach not only big cities but also rural areas.
A lack of financial education can be the cause of some of the problems affecting part of the financial system, namely over-indebtedness, lack of diversification or fraud.
Financial education provides citizens, particularly the youth, with the necessary tools to succeed in economic life and society. It is necessary to raise levels of financial literacy to create more inclusive societies and boost citizen empowerment. The double-bottom-line approach of savings and retail banks also applies to financial education. Raising financial literacy levels also fosters more entrepreneurship. If Europeans crave societies that are more inclusive and citizens more empowered, then raising financial literacy levels is an essential element to getting there.
In addition, financial education contributes to reaching several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as:
There is a need to foster public-private cooperation, including with academia, to achieve greater results with common initiatives.
Increased levels of financial literacy, complementing adequate consumer protection regulation, can lead to fairer and more inclusive societies. As a matter of fact, financial education is instrumental in achieving greater levels of financial inclusion.
WSBI-ESBG, together with its members, organises workshops on financial education, conducts policy research, carries out several financial education activities and supports initiatives such as Global Money Week, to boost financial literacy. Within the framework of World Savings Day, celebrated each year on 31 October since 1924, WSBI-ESBG launches a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of saving money.
ESBG welcomes the recent decisions that European Union institutions have made over the past years related to financial education such as in the Mortgage Credit Directive, the EBA mandate to review and coordinate financial literacy and education initiatives by the competent authorities, and the updated European Skills Agenda. We encourage EU authorities to show leadership and be pro-active on the topic of financial education. ESBG and its members stand ready to support and assist thanks to the expertise and knowledge that we have been building over decades.
Financial literacy matters. A lot has already been done, particularly, by savings and retail banks. However, levels of financial literacy in the European Union are not yet where they should be. We advocate for more leadership from the European Union institutions to further promote financial literacy and to consider financial knowledge as a priority.
We see as crucial the need to empower citizens, and specifically the youth and future generations in the best possible way to succeed in economic life, to understand complex financial concepts such as the importance of savings, the acquisition of a mortgage, the need for insurance or the need to save for retirement.
Conferences & Events
WSBI-ESBG organises conferences and events to raise awareness about the importance of financial education.
The title of the last one was “Evolution, Revolution - Financial Education in the Digital Age".
Policymakers, regulators, researchers, consumers representatives, not-for-profit institutions, practitioners, international organisations, financial museums, and WSBI-ESBG members gathered at the association's premises in Brussels to discuss financial education in the digital age. Debates focused on the role financial education can play in the digital era and looked at standards and evaluation methods of digital financial education programmes.
Read about the programme, speakers and wrap-up
World Savings Day
For more than 90 years, the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute and its members have spearheaded annually a day dedicated to promoting the virtue of people saving money. World Savings Day is celebrated in many countries across the globe with several awareness campaigns, events and other initiatives.
Every year, on 31 October, several countries celebrate World Savings Day. This year's campaign is: “When you save a bit, big things follow".
Visit the 2020 World Savings Day website.
Global Money Week
WSBI-ESBG strongly encourages its members to participate in Global Money Week (GMW), an annual youth financial education campaign built to inspire children and young people to learn about money matters, livelihoods and entrepreneurship, coordinated by the OECD International Network on Financial Education (OECD/INFE).
The 2020 Global Money Week was initially scheduled to take place taking place during the week of 23-29 March. Due to the worsening COVID-19 outbreak, the GMW Secretariat has decided that out of the safety of all participants as well as global solidarity and responsibility, the Global Money Week celebrations will be postponed to a later date (TBD). In case your institution has decided to continue with the organisation of Global Money Week 2020 as scheduled, please inform GMW_Secretariat@oecd.org in due course.
How does it work?
Resources that guide you in planning or promoting your GMW are available on the GMW website.
As in some countries, GMW is led by local government authorities, WSBI strongly encourages financial institutions to get in contact with INFE member institutions in their country. Otherwise, explore the GMW website for country overviews and find your local partners.
The OECD International Network on Financial Education (OECD/INFE)
2 rue André Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16, France
+33 (0)1 45 24 85 55
>> OECD presentation on Global Money Week 2020
>> Global Money Week 2017: WSBI activities round-up
>> Global Money Week 2016: WSBI activities round-up
>> Global Money Week 2015: WSBI activities round-up
>> Global Money Week toolkit
ESML - European Stock Market Learning
The European Stock Market Learning (ESML) is a European initiative coordinated by DSV (DSGV) to enforce the literacy of young people in business and financial affairs through an online simulation of financial investments.
Since 1983, about 7.5 million students have participated, with more than 45,000 teams taking part each year in this national and cross-border competition.
European Stock Market Learning website.
WSBI-ESBG & Parents International initiative
In 2018 and 2019, WSBI-ESBG worked together with Parents International, an organisation whose mission is to support parents around the world to become game-changers by helping their children to grow up happy and healthy 21st-century citizens, on defining a set of financial literacy skills, which is part of a (broader) set of Parents International's Basic Skills for Life.
In October 2019, a final joint paper showing this set of basic financial competences, skills and concepts was presented in Brussels at the WSBI-ESBG Financial Education Conference.
Basic financial competences, skills and concepts
WSBI-ESBG regularly monitors financial education policy developments and participates in webinars, conferences and events.
WSBI-ESBG is an affiliate member of the OECD - International Network on Financial Education (INFE). The OECD and INFE provide a unique policy forum for governments to exchange views and experiences on financial education. OECD/INFE serves as a platform to collect data on financial literacy, develop analytical and comparative reports, research, and develop policy instruments.
WSBI-ESBG also monitors research produced by the most relevant international stakeholders such as IOSCO and the G20.
New Skills Agenda, European Commission
The European Commission has launched the European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience. It sets ambitious, quantitative objectives for improving existing skills and training in new skills to be achieved within the next 5 years.
The aim is to ensure that the right to training and lifelong learning, enshrined in the European Pillar of Social Rights, becomes a reality all across Europe, from cities to remote and rural areas, to the benefit of everyone.
ESBG welcomes that one of the flagship actions is the Skills for Life, including adult learning for everyone (young people and adults) on issues such as financial literacy.
ESBG has been closely following the Skills Agenda for Europe and more specifically, the Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. This is a topic ESBG members contribute to through several financial education programmes and initiatives.
This is a non-exhaustive list of examples of financial education activities carried out by some WSBI-ESBG members.
Memoria de actividades de Educación Financiera
Online exhibition, “Aprender a ahorrar"