Financial Literacy Initiative - Pakistan (FLIP)

Financial Literacy Initiative in Pakistan In the aftermath of the financial crisis, financial literacy and education issues have acquired a momentum. Policy makers worldwide now increasingly acknowledge the importance of Financial Literacy both as a life skill and as a key component of financial and economic stability and development. Acknowledging the importance of better financial education and literacy for improving the ability of people to use financial services; to make effective decisions with respect to their present and future welfare; and in order to respond to growing concerns over adverse affects of low financial literacy levels; a comprehensive and high-level project on financial literacy has been developed to cover a wide spectrum of connected issues. The project is titled “Financial Literacy Initiative” and is being lunched under the aegis of South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE).

Why Financial Literacy?

In a world of increasing financial risks, financial awareness issues and policies have become critically important for several reasons:
  • Increasing transfer of risks to families which are more directly responsible for essential financial decisions for their future wellbeing.
  • Enhanced individual responsibility in credit, health, pensions and insurance products.
  • More families investing more income in financial assets.
  • Uncertainties and sophistication of the financial landscape.
  • More complex products and increased supply of financial products.
  • Overload of financial disclosure.
  • Very low level of financial literacy and capability of individuals in all countries.
  • Individuals overestimate their financial knowledge and skills.
  • Lack of confidence of individual in financial institutions.
  • Vulnerable groups are particularly affected.

How to Improve Financial Literacy?

  • Governments and all concerned stakeholders should promote unbiased and fair financial education.
  • Financial Literacy programs should be focused, coordinated and developed with efficiency.
  • Methodologies to assess existing financial education programs should be promoted.
  • Financial literacy programs should start at school, for people to be educated as early as possible.
  • Financial literacy should be part of the good governance of financial institutions, whose accountability and responsibility should be encouraged.
  • Financial Literacy should be clearly distinguished from commercial advice.
  • Codes of conduct for the staff of financial institutions should be developed.
  • Financial institutions should be encouraged to check that clients read and understand information, especially when related to long-term commitments or financial services with potentially significant financial consequences: small print and abstruse documentation should be discouraged.
  • Financial Literacy programs should focus particularly on important life-planning aspects, such as basic savings, debt, insurance or pensions.
  • Programs and delivery strategies should be oriented towards financial capacity building, and where appropriate targeted on specific groups and made as personalized as possible.
  • Future retirees should be made aware of the need to assess the finance adequacy of their current public and private pension schemes.
  • National campaigns, specific Web sites, free information services and warning systems on high-risk issues for financial consumers (such as fraud) should be promoted.
SAFE Project on Financial Literacy
Financial Literacy Initiative (FLI) One of the objectives of SAFE is promotion of investors education and awareness in the region through independent publications, seminars, conferences in collaboration with SAFE members and provide facilities for educational/skills development, human resources training and spread of capital markets knowledge in region. The consumers need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to evaluate and optimize their choice. SAFE is therefore launching its “Financial Literacy Initiative” to build and improve awareness about financial products and economic concepts of markets as well as other financial sectors.

Main Objectives

The FLI is being launched by SAFE to:
  • Enhance and promote awareness on the importance of financial literacy in Pakistan initially and later its expansion in South Asia.
  • Disseminate information and views on programs, initiatives, issues, research and findings related to financial literacy.
  • Identify, advocate, and develop good practices and efficient tools for financial literacy.
  • Promote analytical work developed by members, and other organizations on financial education.
  • Publicize international principles and good practices developed under the aegis of the SAFE.
  • Capacity building financial literacy educational and training modules, tailored and delivered directly to the focus groups.

Program of Work

In addition to effective materials and financial education curricula, public awareness campaigns are a strong component of increasing consumer knowledge of financial issues and concerns. Through formal meetings, collaboration between members, support of donors and the establishment of special expert subgroups, the Initiative will impart education, advance the analytical framework and policy discussions on financial literacy, as under:
  • Advocate and educate masses in good money management skills to facilitate financial decision making.
  • Provide education and advice as well as action plans for common financial issues.
  • Encourage savings and prudent investment plans in society.
  • Introduce and conduct financial education programs into schools.
  • Develop methodologies for assessing the efficiency of financial education programs.
  • Develop a regional approach for measuring financial literacy and inclusion.
  • Disseminate information and education on financial matters, consumer rights and investor protection.
  • Promote financial literacy through electronic and print media.

How to join FLI

Successful programs and initiatives require the involvement of both public and private sector organizations, with parties playing specific roles that emphasize their strengths. Key financial education stakeholders, public/private bodies, NGOs. INGOs, banks/financial institution, donors from SAARC and non-SAARC countries who have a specific interest and expertise on financial literacy are invited to join. Please send the following information to fli@safe-asia.com
Name, address and website of organization
Name and title of official representative
E-mail address and direct telephone

Future Work

The FLI is developing an extensive program of work on financial literacy and awareness issues, including educational outreach plans, development of data collection, research and good practices in the following areas:
  • Methodology to assess the level of financial literacy and inclusion of the population
  • Methodology to evaluate efficiency and effectiveness of financial literacy programs
  • Role of financial intermediaries in financial literacy
  • Financial literacy programs at schools, colleges and universities
  • National strategies on financial education and financial inclusion
  • In-depth research and survey on financial education and pensions issues (e.g. annuity products, financial retirement awareness, education of members of saving schemes)
  • Behavioral economics and financial literacy
  • Financial literacy and credit issues
  • Financial inclusion and financial education of vulnerable and underserved groups
Contacts
For further information on the Financial Literacy Initiative, please contact us;

E-mail: info@safe-asia.com

Co-ordinator: furrah@financialliteracy.pk

Financial Literacy

“Financial Literacy is the process by which financial consumers/investors improve their understanding of financial products and concepts and, through information, instruction and/or objective advice, develop the skills and confidence to become aware of (financial) risks and opportunities, to make informed choices, to know where to go for help, and to take other effective actions to improve their financial well-being and protection.”