Key actors in financial education and financial literacy:
The Belgian ‘Twin Peaks Law’ (May 2010) lies at the basis of a stronger supervision by the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) and its efforts to ensure a higher level of consumer protection (including financial education). This means that the FSMA is in charge of steering initiatives in the field of financial education.
The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) launched the Wikifin.be financial education website on 31 January 2013. This portal provides citizens with reliable and user-friendly information to help them take financial decisions. It covers a whole range of financial information centred round various topics and moments in life, as well as tools such as a savings accounts simulator, quizzes, etc.
In general, financial education and skills are part of social-economic training. For the purpose of assisting teachers in the process of applying the cross-discipline final attainment levels, the Department of Education has been developing a post-graduate curriculum, and encourages the setting up of cross-discipline final attainment levels Working Groups within the various networks (umbrella organisations). These Working Groups provide pedagogical assistance, they work together with a selection of interest groups and a number of specialist publishers have developed training programmes which are compatible with the cross-discipline final attainment levels.
A large amount of attention is also being paid to the cross-discipline final attainment levels, for example in ‘Klasse’ (Flemish Community) and ‘PROF Magazine’ (Walloon Region), a monthly information magazine. The attention for the cross-discipline final attainment levels is also kept alive by means of two newsletters (‘Schooldirect’ and ‘Lerarendirect’).
Belgian Financial Sector Federation – Febelfin & members
‘If you can dream it, you can do it’ is the basic idea behind the efforts Febelfin has been making for years in order to provide consumers with a maximum of financial education. The financial sector has been working together with a number of structural partners to take numerous initiatives aimed at enhancing the financial literacy of Belgian citizens. Below is a survey of the most important initiatives.
Several websites serve as a tool for providing people with information, but also for making them more alert in financial matters:
Financing of enterprises (2012): This informative website gives entrepreneurs tips and tools on credit applications, State subsidies, etc.
My money and me (2013): On this website, consumers can find user-friendly information about paying, borrowing, saving and investing.
Safe Internet Banking (2013): This e-platform provides youngsters, households and elderly people with specific financial education communication as well as more general issues.
SEPA Belgium (2015): This platform has been created for private persons, self-employed entrepreneurs and public authorities. Here, they can find some help as for the switch-over concerning domestic money transfers and direct debits within the Single Euro Payments Area.
Together with several partners, Febelfin has set up a number of awareness campaigns in order to draw the attention to financial education:
Amazing Mindreader (2012): The aim of the playful Amazing Mindreader campaign launched by Safeinternetbanking.be was to make people alert as for the inherent risks of online disclosure of personal data. The video is centred round Dave, a medium with ‘paranormal’ gifts.
See how easily freaks can take over your life (2013): This campaign shows how an actor uses the information left on the internet by an innocent victim to literally put himself in the place of the latter and take over his life. This is exactly what internet criminals try to do to some extent.
Febelfin lends its support to other organisations striving to enhance financial literacy and financial education:
Taking part in the ‘Money Week’: In consultation with the FSMA, Febelfin takes part in the ‘Money Week’, which takes place from March 14 up to and including March 20 this year.
In practice, Febelfin will be on board of the Federal Truck. This is a fully equipped truck which will be used by the federal government to meet people everywhere in Belgium and to inform them of several matters. Febelfin will be present with a number of staff workers whose task will be to inform people of safe internet banking.
Febelfin continues pleading for a permanent dialogue with the stakeholders concerned as well as looking for new partners who can help to point out the importance of financial education.