Vision: Finns will have the world’s best financial literacy by 2030
The goal of the financial literacy strategy proposal issued by the Bank of Finland is that Finns will have the world’s best financial literacy by 2030. The aim is that as many people as possible would understand the importance of financial literacy in their lives and are capable of making good financial decisions. Olli Rehn, Governor of the Bank of Finland, today issued a national strategy proposal for promoting Finland’s financial literacy to Anna-Maja Henriksson, Minister of Justice.
According to the strategy proposal, reaching the target state calls for a change in operating methods. From the point of view of individuals, their ability to understand and anticipate their financial situation better is of key importance. Easily accessible low-threshold guidance and information services must be available which everybody can use. The proposal emphasises that citizens’ better financial literacy produces well-being not only for themselves but also for the entire national economy.
The strategy proposal prepared by the Bank of Finland is the first of its kind in Finland. The Bank of Finland and the Ministry of Justice agreed a year ago that the Bank of Finland would be responsible for drawing up a national strategy on managing personal finances.
”The financial literacy of Finns is on the average good, though there are differences between population groups. With systematic, well-resourced financial literacy work, it is possible to broadly improve citizens’ knowledge and skills and thereby prevent over-indebtedness and other financial problems,” says Governor Olli Rehn.
”This is an important objective, which I strongly want to advocate. Questions related to over-indebtedness are especially topical these days, and strengthening citizens’ financial literacy is a key goal. I am glad that the proposal focuses on the ‘positive aspects’ of financial literacy, i.e. good financial management, saving and investment,” Minister Henriksson says.
Closer cooperation in promoting financial literacy to improve effectiveness
Financial literacy is being promoted by state authorities as well as many companies and third-sector actors. The strategy proposal emphasises the need to facilitate their cooperation and access to sources of up-to-date information. In addition, the activities should be coordinated better. All this will improve the effectiveness of the activities and the use of resources. It has been proposed that a function in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Justice to support and coordinate field work be established.
The intention is to prepare a practical action plan for the strategy. Concrete operational goals must be defined in the plan in order to ensure the right direction, and the implementation of the goals must be measured regularly. Seamless cooperation with inter-disciplinary research is important in order to have an overview of the situation.
”I support the proposal to set up a new function in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Justice to coordinate the strategic work for economic literacy. This is important in order to put the proposed development targets quickly into practice,” Minister Henriksson says.
The strategy proposal was prepared under the supervision of the Bank of Finland together with key actors and researchers in the field. The work took account of the initial level and the promotion of Finns’ financial literacy, the conditions prevailing in the market as well as the social situation. In addition, use was made of the guidelines of the OECD’s international network of financial education, and a number of international examples of corresponding arrangements were investigated.