International Conference: Financial Literacy for Financial well-being
29 July, 2016
The National Bank of Georgia launched a large-scale campaign for increasing financial literacy level in the country
On July 29th the National Bank of Georgia, with the support of the German Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC), organized an international conference "Financial Literacy for Financial Well-being" at Tbilisi Marriot Hotel.
The Governor of the National Bank opened the conference. "I am pleased to see that the room is full as it implies that all parties agree that we need to make important steps in the direction of improving financial literacy and financial well-being of the population. The process shall begin immediately" - NBG Governor, Mr. Gvenetadze stated.
The participants of the conference reviewed the National Strategy for Financial Education in Georgia, which aims at enhancing the level of financial literacy in Georgia. According to Mr. Koba Gvenetadze, high level of financial literacy is a precondition for financial well-being of the population, and consumers’ rights protection:
"Financially literate persons can make informed decisions in regard to taking loans, making savings and other key financial decisions, while the lack of financial literacy can bring undesirable results, such as: excessive transaction costs, over-indebtedness, high interest rates on loans, etc. All of the above endanger financial well-being of the population. In addition, low level of financial literacy may lead to consumers’ rights violations. The knowledge of financial matters can be considered as one of the key life-skills; thus, this issue has gained the strategic importance both in terms of financial well-being of the population, as well as consumers’ rights protection" - stated the NBG Governor, Mr. Koba Gvenetadze.
While developing the strategy document, the National Bank of Georgia consulted international experts. Mr. Shaun Mundy, invited by SBFIC, is an independent British consultant in financial education and financial services regulation, who was actively involved in the process of the development of the document. During the years 2003-2007, Mr. Shaun Mundy led the UK Financial Education National Strategy development and implementation process. Since 2008 he has consulted many organizations, such as the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC) and others.
The participants of the conference also had the opportunity to get acquainted with the results of the country-wide study on financial education and financial inclusion, initiated by the National Bank of Georgia.
"We carried out a large-scale research on the level of financial literacy and financial inclusion in the country. The survey showed that currently our population does not have sufficient level of financial literacy in order to manage their finances and make informed, appropriate decisions. The research findings clearly demonstrate which goals and approaches should guide the strategy development" - said Mr. Koba Gvenetadze.
Financial education and financial inclusion study, which was conducted by the research organization "Sonar", with the support of the European Fund for Southeast Europe Development Program (EFSE DF), is largely based on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development/ International Network for Financial Education (OECD/INFE) 2015 Toolkit for Measuring Financial Literacy and Financial Inclusion. The abovementioned study looks at the financial knowledge, behavior and attitudes of the population; moreover, the study allows for the analysis of the awareness and usage of financial products, credit management styles and relative indebtedness levels of Georgian households.
During the conference, the National Bank presented yet another educational project implemented with the support of EFSE DF. The project includes two educational brochures for the representatives of the SME sector and for future home owners. The attendees of the conference had the opportunity to view the brochures today.
The participants of the conference included the representatives of the government of Georgia, financial institutions, NGOs and international organizations.