​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Financial education: 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 and local authorities. 

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, among other topics. 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. 

>> Visit 'Finances & Pedagogie'


Erste Group Financial Life Park

The park's aim is to make financial education accessible and dis-cuss economic and financial knowledge with all sectors of society. The Financial Life Park looks to raise curiosity, illustrate the importance of finance and permit to acquire in-depth knowledge and practice-oriented skills. It is addressed to different target groups and based on three pillars of learning through a learning trail. 

>> Visit the site

​2. Austria: 'I €AN' financial education programme from Zweite Sparkasse 

Zweite Sparkasse volunteers have offered since January 2010 ​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 manag​​e their finances and prevent excessive indebtedness. 

I €AN: The financial education programme of the Zweite Sparkasse 

Once per month 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. 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). 

3. Germany: The Sparkassen Schuhlservice

The Sparkassen- Schuhlservice has more than 40 years of experience and external partnership with schools. At the core of its activities, it works to bring students closer to the functioning of the economy and money. Anchored on the criteria of neutrality and versatility, it develops materials addressed to the needs of young people so that they can transfer this knowledge into real life and the challenges that await them. 

>> Learn more: Sparkassen- SchulService​​ | >> Related story 

During the Finanzgruppe Deutscher Sparkassen und Giroverband 7th Forum Privater Haushalt “Learning for life: Financial education has an impact” held on 4 March 2015, it became evident during the event 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 opportunity 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 concepts 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 learned a lot with the materials provided by the Sparkassen-SchulService. 

>> See 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, called "Saldo Positivo Empresas", focused on the SME business point of view.

​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. 

>> Learn more: Saldo Positivo  

​5. Spain: CECA (Spanish Savings Banks Confederation) and the Spanish Network for Financial Education and Caixabank

In 2009, the Spanish Savings Banks Confederation (CECA) launched a network (Red Española 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. 

>> Learn more: Red Española de Educación Financiera

​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 available for free in the CaixaBank app store

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 dictionaries 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. 

>> Discover: Aula

6. Vietnam: Lien Viet Post Joint Stock Commercial Bank (LienVietPostBank) - initiative targeting women​

Lie​nVietPostBank has started a series of financial training courses that target women and aim to improve their financial literacy and financial management skills. The project is the newest addition to LienVietPostBank's financial education efforts. The training sessions under the theme “Vi Viet – An innovative payment solution for Vietnamese women" aim to give low-cost access to savings and overdraft loans or micro-loans to women and women-owned businesses. The project is sponsored by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and is co-organised together with Vietnam Women's Union.​ During interactive courses​, participants improve their skills on family expenditure management and are introduced to formal banking products and services, such as savings, consumer loans, small loans and mobile banking possibilities. LienVietPostBank representatives point out that after completing the course, project participants feel more confident in everyday expenses management, and they gain more knowledge on how to save or spend money more efficiently. Many women also share this knowledge with their friends, colleagues and family members. 

As of 2014, only 32% of women in Vietnam, defined as older than 15 years of age, have bank accounts. Even though Vietnamese women traditionally take charge of household financial management, many of them are still financially excluded. LienVietPostBank's initiative not only contributes to financial inclusion and financial literacy among women in Vietnam but also aims to r​each women in different regions of the country, including remote and rural areas.​ ​

>> Visit: Lie​nVietPostBank 

7. Uganda: Centenary Bank challenges the girl child to embrace savings culture​

On 15 March 2019, Centenary Bank launched the project “Women for Her Campaign" at Old Kampala secondary school. The project, aligned with Global Agenda 2030, will be implemented for 16 months and aims to reach over 25,000 young girls from 50 secondary schools across Uganda.

The “Women for Her Campaign" (#Women4Her) will act as a platform for the young girls to learn the financial foundations and start saving. Financial inclusion will be promoted using mentorship by adult women who will encourage girls to get more involved with financial institutions, local and modern mobile banking systems, etc.

Centenary Bank has created Cente Junior and CenteVolution Accounts for the girls to be able to save. Furthermore, the bank has made a contribution of 50 million Uganda Shs. The Women4Her Campaign is in line with the government's plan to empower the youth and increase job creation.

Anatali Nambooze, the project leader, strongly believes that when a girl saves, the household is also saving, since women influence the household in a great number of financial decisions. If the girl child starts saving from a young age, this will result in a better economic empowerment. ​

>> Visit: Centenary Bank

 •​ More initiatives on financial education from WSBI-ESBG members to be found here​ •​