Well-established activities need to proceed
BRUSSELS, 18 March 2019
The following is an excerpt from the recently released brochure 'Together for a growing and more integrated europe: Savings and retail banks’ drive to help Europeans prosper'.
It is of utmost importance to foster entrepreneurship, numeracy skills and other skills related to financial matters. Doing so provides citizens, particularly the youth, with the necessary tools to succeed in life. Raising levels of financial literacy is the way forward when it comes to making societies more inclusive and boosting citizen empowerment, ultimately contributing to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, approved by the United Nations General Assembly. Goal 4, regarding qualitative education, is especially important. There is no doubt that financial education leads to sound financial inclusion.
There is need to empower citizens – and particularly youth – to succeed in economic life, to understand complex financial moments such as the transfer from a defined benefit pension schemes into the contribution pension schemes. People need to grasp the problem of over indebtedness, and 21st century topics related to financial innovation and digitalisation, the emergence of cryptocurrencies with growing consumer and investor protection concerns. There are more nuanced topics that also require information to educate people, such as the emerging information asymmetry between businesses and consumers, the increasing responsibility on households, the need for a more sustainable finance.
Financial education lies at the very heart and core of ESBG and its members. ESBG supports – together with its sister organisation, the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute, or WSBI – an inclusive form of globalisation that is just and fair and supports international efforts to advance financial access and financial usage for everyone. Financial education plays an important role here. Since its inception, WSBI-ESBG has actively worked to promote financial education in different ways. Take World Savings Day, an initiative started by members in 1924, or the European Stock Market Learning.
The bulk of the activities is provided on the local level where a wide range of initiatives of our members is permanently taking place aimed at not only preventing social and economic exclusion, but also providing citizens with a better knowledge of financial issues, helping them make informed choices.
Financial education efforts must imply a shared responsibility between all actors: private and public bodies, educational and financial institutions, NGOs, the academic sector, consumers and other stakeholders reflecting a joint commitment between them. This clearly is a task for society as a whole.
Although education policies belong mainly to the remit of the Member States, the European Parliament can play an especially important promoting role by providing, for example, fora for policy discussions with stakeholders and exchange of excellent practices. ESBG is interested in an intensive dialogue with the European policymakers on these issues.
To learn more about the latest public policy positions on banking from ESBG, see the brochure
Together for a growing and more integrated europe: Savings and retail banks’ drive to help Europeans prosper
>> Read the booklet | En français
>> Learn more: Financial education