Financial education is a central issue in today’s complex financial world. It enables consumers to understand how to manage their finance and avoid unnecessary risks. The importance of financial education has never been more apparent in the context of the financial crisis and economic downturn.
It is within this framework that the EBF launched its first report on financial education in 2009 with the aim of providing a comprehensive overview of the many programmes implemented by national banking associations and banks in the field of financial education. Subsequently, this report was updated in 2012 with a special focus on the financial education of children and young adults.
Financial education is highly topical in many European countries where authorities have started developing national strategies for financial education as recommended and promoted by the OECD. At European level, the European Commission has also initiated several projects such as the EU web-based consumer education tool DOLCETTA (http://www.financial-literacy.eu). At International level, the G20 has underlined the importance of financial education at the occasion of their Summit in June 2012, where G20 leaders notably endorsed the High-Level Principles on National Strategies for Financial Education developed by the OECD and its International Network on Financial Education (INFE).
Some countries have already implemented a successful national strategy on financial education based on collaboration between government, financial service providers and non-governmental organisations (e.g. the Dutch Money Week). The FEPG has decided to base its work on those successful experiences.
In this context, the EBF Executive Committee approved, in May 2013, the launch of an EBF Project on the promotion and anchoring of financial education at European level. A dedicated Financial Education Project Group (FEPG) has been set-up in the meantime. The Group’s objective is to enable the exchange of best practices among EBF members and build on these practices.
In addition, the FEPG has been tasked to work further on the launch of a European Money Week (themed events and activities targeted at specific groups at EU level), starting if possible in 2015.
An EU Money Week targeting primary school children could serve as a catalyst for intensified European cooperation. It could also help to increase financial awareness and aim to integrate financial education into school curricula across Europe.
The EBF’s role within the European Money Week would be to coordinate actions on financial education at national level. The organisation of the Money Week will therefore be primarily a national objective. National banking associations and banks willing to participate would focus actions on financial education during that week. The EBF would support the national efforts with communication and the sharing of good practices.
EBF contact: email@example.com