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Financial Education

Expert Group on Financial Education

Reports of the Expert Group:

The European Commission selected 25 members to the Expert Group of Financial Education. More than one hundred experts responded to the call for applications.

The European Commission set up the Expert Group on Financial Education (EGFE) following a call for applications. The group is composed of financial education practitioners and aims at promoting exchange of ideas, experiences and best practices. The group also advises the Commission on its policy-making in the area of financial education. The call was addressed to experts representing both private and public stakeholders: national authorities, the financial industry, consumer associations, academia, etc., who demonstrate the relevant competences and practical experience.

For more details please see the following documents:

Communication on Financial Education

On 18 December, the Commission adopted a Communication on Financial Education. This Communication underlines the Commission’s support for the provision of financial education delivered as close as possible to the citizens that need it, namely through Member State, national and regional authorities, non-governmental agencies and the financial services sector.

It sets out the economic, societal and personal benefits of increased financial literacy and gives an overview of the provision of financial education in the EU. The Communication presents some basic principles to guide providers of financial education, based on existing best practices.

It also announces some future initiatives in this area. These initiatives range from the publication of an online reference database of financial education programmes and research to an enhancement of the existing Dolceta online education tool to help teachers to incorporate financial matters into the school curriculum.

Survey of financial literacy schemes in the EU

This survey was carried out by Evers & Jung Financial Services Research and Consulting in the period January to November 2007. Covering 180 schemes and initiatives, it presents an extensive overview of the financial literacy schemes for the majority of the EU Member States. It also provides a list of general literature on financial literacy as well as literature on single schemes depicted in the study. The study shows that financial literacy is a growing priority, both for the EU institutions and for the market players.

The survey data is presented in three different ways: sorted by scheme provider country, provider status and target group. In the course of 2008 the results of this survey will be used as the basis for an online database and updated regularly.

Conference on “Increasing Financial Capability”

The European Commission hosted a well-attended conference on “Increasing Financial Capability” on 28 March 2007 in Brussels. Its aim was to encourage the provision of high-quality financial education to consumers, and provide a forum for the exchange of best practices. The conference featured a wide cross-section of specialist speakers on financial capability, who covered the progressive stages in a consumer’s life at which financial education is especially valuable: from school days through to major life events for which consumers need credit, insurance and mortgages, and on to making provisions for long-term savings and pensions.

The conference highlighted that Member States have a key role to play, particularly with regard to inclusion of financial issues in the education curriculum. The various presentations illustrated that much is being done in the EU to empower consumers to make appropriate financial decisions, although there was wide acknowledgement much more needs to be done. In developing it’s policy on financial capability, the European Commission will draw both on the feedback given at this conference as well as on the findings of the study it has commissioned to map out financial education schemes in EU member states.

Speakers’ presentations 
Panel I – Laying the foundations: Financial education of young people
Panel II – Important life events: Forewarned is forearmed
Panel III – Looking ahead: Financial education on pensions, investment and long-term savings

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