What does financial education mean?
The BCRA defines financial education as the process by which people acquire knowledge on finance, and financial services and products, and learn how to identify risks and enjoy benefits. Financial education enables users to adopt exemplary financial attitudes and develop abilities to reach financial goals based on household and personal financial planning.
In particular, financial education allows them to acquire knowledge, and to develop the necessary abilities and attitudes to get to know, compare, and choose the financial services and products that best suit their needs.
Why does the BCRA attend to this issue?
In the world at large, and in Latin America, in particular, central banks lead par excellence financial inclusion and financial education programs.
In line with international experience, Section 42 of the BCRA’s Charter states that “the BCRA may carry out research work and promote financial education and activities on topics of interest related to its purpose as enshrined in this Charter”.
In this sense, the BCRA plays a leading role in the design and development of educational activities so that different types of public may take well-informed financial decisions, thus improving well-being at individual and society level.
By means of different strategies and actions, the BCRA seeks to make financial services and products easier to understand and, in addition, strengthen the spreading and understanding of users’ rights. They are further aimed at fostering the development of financial skills and habits that improve money management and decision making, which contribute towards a more inclusive and fairer society with better development opportunities even for the most vulnerable sectors, adopting a gender perspective.
How does the BCRA promote Financial Education?
Financial education largely goes beyond the spreading of information and financial direction. Objective data and the features of financial services, processes and products are the starting point or reference for acquiring habits that improve the quality of life. For that reason, the BCRA carries out the following duties through the Financial Education Management Office:
- It sets the standards on economic as well as financial know-how and skills that are part of educational programs, in the formal educational system (students and teachers) as well as in the informal background (families, working-class districts, the elderly, among others).
- It encourages educational and community activities—mainly among the most vulnerable sectors—so that users may develop financial skills, thus attending to their financial service rights, while adopting a gender-oriented perspective.
- It supports massive campaigns and messages aimed at the population as a whole with a focus on those people with the least opportunities of access and use of financial services.
- It promotes the analysis and research on financial and economic education programs carried out by financial institutions and peer central banks, as well as surveys in cooperation with domestic and international organizations.