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Thursday, January 1, 2009
Growing attention

Financial literacy has received growing attention in both the developed and developing worlds in recent times. One just has to look at the current subprime and subsequent financial sector crisis in the US and other countries to realize that financial literacy is important at all levels to assist individuals to make informed decisions about their finances,” says Mr Ronnie Napier, Chair of the SAIA Board.
His comments followed the release the FSC Consumer Education Initiative (2007) report which revealed that  a total of R8 552 111.23 had been pooled voluntarily by SAIA members in terms of their 0.2% commitment to consumer education in the financial services arena in terms of the Financial Sector Charter. This consumer education initiative was aimed at the lower income group or LSMs 1 – 5 and Black people as per the requirements of the Charter. In addition to the SAIA, the FSB contributed a little over R2m and the LOA R4m to the projects.
There were five projects implemented in all in the 2007/8 period including a community workshop project, a commuter financial literacy programme, a Mall Theatre and Shoppa Show programme, and interventions at school level.
Napier adds that the Financial Sector Charter requirements in terms of access and consumer education have largely driven the efforts into the low income market.  He says that it would be a pity if the sector might not be governed by the Charter in future as the generic BBBEE Codes do not include access and consumer education.
The SAIA believes that the value of collaboration with regards to consumer education cannot be emphasised enough.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:22.1 1st January, 2009
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