A year ago BBVA launched a project that reflects its commitment to financial education: the Center for Financial Education and Capability, whose goal is to foster knowledge in the area of financial education and inclusion.
BBVA is one of the main global standard-bearers for financial education. It has promoted initiatives for over 10 years that have benefitted 11 million people in the countries where it operates. This led BBVA in February 2017 to launch the Center for Financial Education and Capability. Here are five of its most important milestones in its first year of existence:
1. EduFin Summit 2017
In June 2017, leading global financial education experts discussed the importance of financial knowledge to human welfare at this major global event organized by the Center in Mexico City. Among the institutions taking part were the Mexican government, the OECD, the World Bank, the European Banking Federation, Better Finance, the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC), the Inter-American Development Bank (BID) and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), among others. The event was a landmark due to the ground it broke in the subjects addressed and the high profile of the speakers.
2. Presentation of PISA 2015 report on Financial Literacy
On May 24, 2017, the PISA Financial Literacy report for 2015 was presented in Paris. This report was drawn up by the OECD and sponsored by BBVA. “All public and private institutions are relevant in this regard. That’s why BBVA continues to invest in financial education programs,” BBVA Group Executive Chairman Francisco González said at a presentation of the report alongside HM Queen Máxima of The Netherlands and OECD secretary general Ángel Gurría.
3. European Development Days
In June, the Center organized a panel meeting within the context of the European Development Days event on development in Europe. The meeting took place in Brussels and was attended by Antoni Ballabriga, BBVA Global Head of Responsible Business, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, eurodeputy and vice president of the European Parliament Sub-committee on Human Rights; Ralf Jacob, the director of the European Commission’s unit for Retail Financial Payments and Services; Helen Gibbons, director of Better Finance; and Wim Mijs, CEO de la European Banking Federation. In his address to the meeting, Antoni Ballabriga underscored the use of new technologies: “They are a key lever in integrating financial education with solutions for clients and in providing them with a platform in learning how to use money.”
4. G20 summit
The Center has also participated in major events, including the G20 summit, where BBVA’s Executive Director José Manuel González-Páramo shared his insights into how digital transformation in the banking sector is driving financial inclusion in developing countries. BBVA is the only financial institution that took part in the conference, held in Wiesbaden (Germany), in January.
5. Resolution of the European Parliament
On November 14, 2017, the European Parliament, upon request by the Center and other organizations, adopted a resolution urging the European Commission to ‘promote financial inclusion and multi-party collaboration in this pivotal field.’ One of the Center’s strategic goals is the promotion of public-private collaboration, through its involvement in European initiatives. As a result of this good relationship, Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner in charge of Financial Services, contributed to the EduFin Summit 2017 with an article in which he ratified the European Commission’s commission to financial education and called on all industry players to collaborate.
In its first year, the Center has grown with all these milestones and has worked hard to become a standard-bearer in the world of financial education. In 2018, it will continue generating contents, that will add to the more than 100 publications that are already available online, rolling out initiatives and organizing events to boost financial literacy levels and help people make financial decisions that open new opportunities for them.