G20 national financial literacy strategies presented
Finance Minister of the Russian Federation Anton Siluanov and Jose Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), have presented a report on national strategies of financial literacy.
Mr. Siluanov said that their report was based on the G20 countries' practice in creating and implementing national financial literacy strategies. "A country's economic development largely depends on its financial literacy," he said. "Therefore, the development and introduction of financial literacy strategies is a vital element of our policy."
The minister also said that a survey conducted in the fall of 2012 revealed an insufficient level of financial literacy in Russia. Meanwhile, he said, financial products all over the world continue to become more complicated and people find it hard to get to grips with them. The report cites examples of complex situations in the financial services sphere in the G20 countries and national practices in resolving them.
Mr. Siluanov also emphasized that Russia has adopted a comprehensive approach to financial literacy. It is working to create a national strategy focused on improving the financial literacy of young people and is developing a strategy for introducing elements of financial literacy in the school curriculum. The Finance Minister believes that this report will help take into account the best practices when developing national strategies in this sphere. "Financial literacy has become an inalienable part of education in the 21st century," he said.
He added that Russia was implementing a comprehensive policy of enhancing financial literacy while at the same time protecting consumer rights, and that this policy required coordinated contribution from the state, the business community, civil society and the media.
Angel Gurria added that the report is a result of combined efforts of the G20 countries under the Russian presidency.
The OECD Secretary-General said that the crisis had begun in the financial sector because the public was offered a wide range of financial products which they could not turn down. However, people lacked financial literacy to assess their financial standing properly. "We all have to take financial decisions; it is unavoidable," Mr. Gurria said. "We need three elements to be able to take a correct decision: access to financial resources and services, financial literacy and protection for users of financial services."
"We are now analyzing the problem at the root of the crisis," Angel Gurria said. "We still feel the consequences of the downturn and are trying to find effective solutions to the current fundamental problems in society."
The principles of national strategies for financial education were developed at the summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. "Today we are presenting the results of the application of these principles in our countries," the OECD Secretary-General said.