​​ WSBI-ESBG welcomes launch of PISA financial literacy students assessment

"Citizens need to be protected, and in this context they must understand their choices and rights. Financial education and consumer protection are not exclusively issues of developing countries. Financial education can only be achieved by a broad range of stakeholders, including financial services providers. The PISA Assessment provides substantial steps on shading light on how to proceed. Addressing the youth is the way forward."

– ​ H.M. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands at OECD PISA financial literacy asessment​ launch


BRUSSELS, 16 July 2014 – More than ever, financial education is key to helping citizens, and notably the youth. Helping young people to understand financial issues in an ever increasingly complex financial products and services environment prevents that they bear financial risks in adulthood. The sooner the better, because addressing the matter at an early age abolishes any risks of intergenerational poverty and triggers a healthy long term thinking and approach to life.

The results of the first-ever OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) financial literacy assessment of students carried out in 18 countries, the results to be launched on 9 July 2014 and to be found here. They sound a wake-up call evidencing the need for further adequate policies to improve the financial literacy levels of the youth. While gender gaps in financial literacy among 15-year-olds seem to be small, the PISA assessment suggests that Financial literacy competencies are strongly related to students' socio-economic background.

WSBI-ESBG agrees that there is a need to step up global and common efforts to better identify the financial literacy needs of 15-year-olds and explore ways to improve this essential life skill in all segments of the population. Financial education is a key field of WSBI-ESBG members' contribution to society and interaction with stakeholders. On all continents, WSBI-ESBG members play a key role in educating people on finance and budget issues, far beyond the scope of their clientele. They are motivated by the strong belief that these initiatives contribute to preventing social and economic exclusion and that citizens with a better knowledge of financial issues are able to make informed choices.

WSBI-ESBG savings and retail member banks will continue to provide their support in collaboration with key stakeholders, to empowers citizens and households contributing to reach a more inclusive society.