Initiatives from some WSBI-ESBG members
1. France: Savings banks in France - Support to financial education and prevention
The association ”Finances & Pedagogie”, the subsidiary of the Caisses d’Epargne dedicated to financial inclusion, provides training related to money and budget management. Created by the Caisses d’Epargne in 1957, the Finances & Pédagogie association provides a variety of financial education programmes, such as training and budget management. Its aim is to empower disadvan-taged groups by guiding them through the basic principles required to enjoy financial independ-ence. Working in partnership with more than 1,300 local entities – organizations specializing in social and professional integration, associations, schools, businesses, local authorities, etc. – Finances & Pédagogie trains individuals to use the banking system effectively in their day-to-day lives and helps them to manage their money more effectively to avoid overspending. Finances & Pédagogie also works in synergy with Parcours Confiance, another programme from the French Savings Banks, which offers concrete solutions through micro-loans. In 2011, Finances & Pédagogie conducted 2,700 individual interventions and gave almost 7,800 hours of training to a total of 44,000 people. It also published a new guide for social workers that compiles practical information to be used daily, but which is very often unknown: the right to a bank account, overdrafts and bouncing checks, consumption credit...The guide is especially useful to professionals, social workers and volunteer social aid workers who often help people in trouble, but is also targets a larger public.
2. Austria: I €AN: The financial education programme of the Zweite Sparkasse
Since January 2010 Zweite Sparkasse volunteers have offered half-day interactive workshops on financial education for teenagers between 15 and 19 years old. The “I €AN” workshops educate first-time earners on how to manage their finances and prevent excessive indebtedness.
I €AN: The financial education programme of the Zweite Sparkasse Once per month since Janu-ary 2010 Zweite Sparkasse volunteers have offered half-day interactive workshops on financial education for teenagers between 15 and 19 years old. The “I €AN” workshops educate first-time earners on how to manage their finances and prevent excessive indebtedness. Zweite Sparkasse’s financial literacy measures were developed in partnership with the Viennese debt counselling services. According to their statistics, a high percentage of people requiring their counselling have a low level of education. Zweite Sparkasse targets those who have not found an apprenticeship on the market and are in a training programme provided by “Jugend am Werk” (a social organisation offering professional training for young people).
Erste Group Financial Life Park:
The aim of the Erste Group Financial Life Park is to make financial education accessible and dis-cuss economic and financial knowledge with all sectors of society. The Financial Life Park should raise curiosity, illustrate the importance of finance and permit to acquire in-depth knowledge and practice-oriented skills. Financial Life Park is addressed to different Target groups and based on three pillars of learning through a learning trail.
3. Germany: The Sparkassen Schuhlservice
This year the Sparkassen- SchulService celebrates its 40 years of experience and external partner-ship with schools. At the core of its activities, the Sparkassen- SchulService works to bring stu-dents closer to the functioning of the economy and money. Anchored to the criteria of neutrality and versatility, the Sparkassen- SchulService develops materials addressed to the needs of young people, so that they can transfer this knowledge into real life and challenges that await them.
On 4th March 2015, the Finanzgruppe Deutscher Sparkassen und Giroverband held its 7th Forum Privater Haushalt “Learning for life- Financial education has an impact”. Once more it became evident that there is a need for financial education in school for the younger generations, and namely in the current socio-economic context where the ability to manage and plan for the future proves to be crucial to deal with real life challenges. The event also provided the oppor-tunity to showcase further evidence of the impact that financial education has. The report “Ökonomische Grundbildung in Praxistest” (Commissioned by the Sparkassen-SchulService to the Zentrum für ökonomische Bildung-ZöBiS) shows that targeted lessons on economic con-cepts in a short timeframe can significantly improve the economic skills and competences of stu-dents. Students learn about concepts such as shortage, the principles of supply and demand and the need for the economic activity, but also about remittances, standing orders and direct debit. According to this study, 78, 3 per cent of the students confessed having learnt a lot with the mate-rials provided by the Sparkassen-SchulService.
Link to the study (in German):
4. Portugal: Caixa Geral de Depósitos financial literacy programme : Saldo Positivo
In 2008 Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) launched its financial literacy programme, Saldo Positivo. Its purpose was to help consumers managing their personal budgets and simplify financial language. CGD aims to help Portuguese families to make the best financial decisions in their day to day life. More recently, it has created a similar site focused on the SME business point of view, Saldo Positivo Empresas in http://saldopositivo.cgd.pt/empresas/
The reasons for investing in financial education:
CGD was the first Portuguese commercial bank to create a website with the very specific social mission of decreasing the high levels of national financial illiteracy. It was a great step ahead and CGD is now proud to set the benchmark for financial education in Portugal. As the largest bank in the country, CGD has a strong commitment with social responsibility and sustainability, and its financial education programme is a cornerstone of this corporate mission.
5. Spain: CECA (Spanish Savings Banks Confederation) and the Spanish net for Financial Education and Caixabank
In 2009, the Spanish Savings Banks Confederation (CECA) launched a network (Red Espa-ñola de Educación Financiera) to bring together financial education professionals in Spain. It is part of the Spanish Strategy for Financial Education, which is a joint initiative (2008) with the objective of improving financial literacy of the citizens by providing tools, skills and knowledge in order to make informed choices. The strategy has three characteristics: It is addressed to all seg-ments of the population, and it is based on cooperation and continuity (it aims at a long implementation period). The strategy website is called “Finanzas para todos”, offering a full range of tools and calculators as well as the possibility to navigate it by needs or by profiles.
CaixaBank, aware of the importance of improving financial knowledge of the population, tries to contribute to the training on the basics of financial reality. CaixaBank is also taking part in the Financial Education Plan backed by the CNMV and the Bank of Spain. CaixaBank thus offers citizens its collection of Basic Recommendations for Household Finances. A total of 12 files which summarize, in an easy-to-read and practical manner, everything that is needed to improve household finances.
Moreover, for those who are even younger CaixaBank has created “Aprende a ahorrar (learn to save)” an interactive game to help parents teach their children to save. This application is availa-ble for free in the CaixaBank app store. https://portal.lacaixa.es/caixamovil/store/appaprendeaahorrar_es.html
The “Aula, training for Shareholders” initiative provides the CaixaBank's shareholders with tools and content to increase their knowledge of financial markets and the state of the economy. The initiative includes activities such as conferences on stock market issues and guides and dictionar-ies with useful content for anyone interested in investing in the stock market. It also allows for collaboration with top-level finance and market educational institutions.