Banks need to beef up financial education for consumers – Hayes

Dublin MEP Brian Hayes today said that there was an opportunity in light of the OECD/PISA Education report for banks and other financial institutions to educate potential consumers and the public at large on confusing financial issues.

“The financial crash caused immense damage to the Irish economy and to the lives of many, many thousands of people. The banking enquiry is exposing disturbing levels of professional incompetence at the most senior level of Irish banking and banking regulation. High levels of financial illiteracy among the wider public was also a contributory factor to the crash.”

“Ulster Banks initiative of MoneySense is an excellent example of how students can develop their financial capability. It is an interactive online curriculum designed to give young people the skills to manage their money.”

“There is an opportunity for banks across Ireland to develop similar online educational tools to inform their clients and the public at large on complex financial issues. I believe the government needs to provide funding as encouragement for banks to set up similar initiatives to Ulster Bank’s MoneySense. There is also a compelling case for having a module on Personal Finances as part of the Transition year curriculum.”

“The results from the 2012 survey conducted by the OECD/PISA are quiet worrying. Although Ireland performs above the OECD average in primary and secondary education, it is a long way of the top performing countries like Netherlands and Switzerland. I believe it is important to start the financial education process as early possible to reduce the gap between Ireland and other top preforming OECD countries.”

“This is an opportunity for Ireland to be at the forefront in Europe in developing such services and hopefully this will lead to Ireland becoming one of the top countries in financial literacy. This is all about developing financial security for people and making sure mistakes of the past are not repeated.”

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