Winning teams, ESBG members Associazione di Fondazioni e di Casse di Risparmio (Italy), Finances et Pédagogie (France), Deutscher Sparkassen-und Giroverband (Germany), Banque et Caisse d’Épargne de l’État, Luxembourg, Sparbanken Västra Mälardalen (Sweden), Jean-Paul Servais (FSMA), Chris De Noose (ESBG).
BRUSSELS, 15 April 2019 – The winning teams of the European Stock Market Learning - a national and cross-border online competition - gathered in Brussels on 12-14 April for the annual awards ceremony followed by a fun-filled weekend in the heart of the EU. Participants from France, Italy, Luxembourg, Germany and Sweden spent the weekend celebrating their success, exchanging experiences and discovering Brussels.
The European Stock Market Learning (ESML) initiative aims to reinforce business and financial literacy of young people through an online simulation of financial investments. It is a national and cross-border online competition for teams of pupils and students, coordinated by the European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESBG). In 2018, roughly 100000 contestants from five participating countries took part in it. Five ESBG members are currently taking part in the ESML, namely Associazione di Fondazioni e di Casse di Risparmio (Italy), Finances et Pédagogie (France), Deutscher Sparkassen-und Giroverband (Germany), Banque et Caisse d'Épargne de l'État du Luxembourg, Sparbanken Västra Mälardalen (Sweden).
Each year the final award ceremony takes place in a different participating country where the winning teams are invited together with their teachers and representatives of savings banks. This year's award ceremony was hosted by ESBG in Brussels.
The three-day event kicked off with the annual awards ceremony where participants quickly got to know each other as they teamed up for a live quiz that tested their knowledge in geography, music, sports and Belgium. Shortly after Chris De Noose, Managing Director of ESBG, and Jean-Paul Servais, Chairman of the FSMA (the Financial Services and Markets Authority) in Belgium as well as the 2018 Patron, delivered institutional speeches congratulating the students on their achievements.
The next day participants enjoyed a cultural morning visit at the House of European History. This museum aims to raise awareness about Europe's history by collecting a plethora of perspectives and interpretations. It showcases the history of European integration and its foundations. The afternoon was later spent at chocolate museums where participants not only learned about the journey of chocolate throughout history and its production secrets, but created and ate their very own chocolate treats.
“At ESBG, we recognise the value of being prepared as much as possible for life challenges. It is the reason why we promote and support financial education initiatives such as the European Stock Market Learning. This is an important part of our compromise to society and the youth, as the responsibility of savings and retail banks." said Chris De Noose, Managing Director of ESBG.
Jean-Paul Servais, Chairman of the FSMA (the Financial Services and Markets Authority) in Belgium as well as the Patron of the 2018 edition, also highlighted the importance of this initiative that combines the best recipes for financial and investor education into a single game. He then proceeded to congratulating students for their hard work and explained how limiting the unpredictability risk in the stock market requires the right skills and efforts and for you put to your knowledge into practice, to challenge the information you receive, to develop your critical thinking, your sense of social and environmental responsibility…
Students and teachers also shared their views on the initiative. The European Stock Market Learning provides a safe and entertaining environment where students can learn without being afraid of making mistakes. According to the winning teams, it favours teamwork and other essential lifelong skills that will undoubtedly come in handy in the future.
The European Stock Market Learning is one of the key initiatives carried out by ESBG in the crucial area of financial education. ESBG believes that it is timelier than ever to promote similar activities as they provide necessary skills and knowledge for youth to adapt and succeed in economic life. In addition, the competition promotes a long-term vision of sustainable finance, which is high on the agenda of the current policy debate in the European Union.