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BBVA takes the floor to promote the global movement for financial education

In Mexico City, BBVA held the first edition of EduFin Summit, a global event on financial education organized by the Center for Financial Education and Capabilities, which the bank established early this year. With this forum, BBVA is giving the global movement for financial education a significant boost, consolidating the bank’s role as a global leader.

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Since 2007, BBVA has promoted financial education initiatives in countries where it has a presence, helping more than nine million people. This makes it one of the top global leaders in the field.

And now it has also taken the floor through the EduFin Summit, a forum for intellectual debate that seeks to bolster the global movement for financial education and inclusion.

The second and final day of EduFin Summit 2017 was spent debating the global financial education agenda and how to apply it to different countries or geographic areas, concerning the reality described in the OECD PISA Report, which was presented on May 24th in Paris.

In this regard, Flore Anne Messy, Director of Financial Affairs at the OECD, co-author of the PISA Report and moderator of the panel, said that financial education should be a required subject in schools starting from the early years of school.

Messy also underscored the import role households play in children’s financial education. “The results show us that students hardly ever discuss financial issues with their parents,” she indicated. In her opinion, digitization is a decisive factor for financial inclusion, because technology makes financial products seem accessible.

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Lidia del Pozo, Director of the Community Investment Programs at BBVA. - BBVA Bancomer

David Tuesta, the Head of Financial Inclusion at BBVA Research, also emphasized the opportunity  digital transformation represents to break down barriers and encourage financial inclusion: “Digitization is progressing as part of national strategies and as a way to overcome the barriers that impede access to banking services. A country with a real vocation for financial education is one that does everything possible to eliminate these barriers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Alfonso Arellano, Senior Economist at BBVA Research, analyzed the four skill areas in the PISA Report —mathematics, reading comprehension, sciences and financial education – to conclude that there is a clear relationship between the results for the different skills. And he had this to say to young people: “Study, learn from older people and save.”

They all agreed to call on the authorities in every country to give teachers the necessary pedagogical resources to transmit financial knowledge to their students, and help develop values like confidence, perseverance and self-esteem, which will boost their security when making financial decisions in the future.

In the second part of the panel, Sandip Ghose, Director of the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM), explained the financial education and inclusion initiatives underway in his country, India. One of the most successful projects consists of stands with messages to raise awareness among citizens regarding the importance of saving and to offer citizens educational materials. “Financial education and inclusion creates financial freedom,” Ghose maintains.

Wim Mijs, Executive Director of the European Banking Federation, is one of the top promoters of financial education in his country, the Netherlands, where initiatives like virtual financial games for children have been implemented with the participation of the parents and schools.

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David Tuesta, Chief Economist of the Financial Inclusion Unit at BBVA. - BBVA Bancomer

In his presentation, Mijs underscored the importance of learning by discovery and indicated that financial education should be cross-cutting to reach everyone, starting in primary school and including adults, entrepreneurs and SMEs.

In his final presentation, José Manuel González-Páramo, Executive Director of BBVA and Chairman of the Center for Financial Education and Capabilities’ Advisory Board, emphasized the quality of the speakers and thanked the main international institutions and Mexican authorities for their participation. Two aspects that were fundamental to the success of the forum, he said.

He concluded with this message: “The EduFin Summit is born with the desire to become a global benchmark for international reflection by creating a multidisciplinary space to debate the most diverse topics related to financial education. It is held once a year. This year was the first time. And I hope that we will all see each other again next year for a topic as vital as financial education”.