BBVA Chair Carlos Torres Vila opened the Edufin Summit 2022 this Thursday, with a focus on inclusive and sustainable growth via training in digital skills. At this forum, he announced that BBVA will train two million people in financial education between 2021 and 2025, doubling the initial target.
Last year, the bank announced its Community Commitment, whereby it plans to invest €550 million in social programs between 2021 and 2025, reaching 100 million people. From January 2021 to June 2022, BBVA has invested €155 million, impacting more than 45 million people.
The Community Commitment includes a Global Financial Education Plan to roll out specific training for customers and non-customers. Carlos Torres Vila announced that "we are doubling our initial goal of training one million people, which we took on as part of our Commitment," and deliver financial education to two million people.
The Edufin Summit, held simultaneously in Spain and Mexico, was attended by the European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness, who stressed that "BBVA is committed to financial education."
Digitization calls for enhanced financial education
The BBVA Chair stressed the importance of financial education in the digital world. The digitization of financial services is a source of opportunities for development and quality financial inclusion, such as greater access and a range of products adapted to the customers’ needs.
From left to right: Alejandra Kindelán, President of the Spanish Banking Association (AEB); Margarita Delgado, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Spain; and Carlos Torres Vila, BBVA Chair. /BBVA
He also pointed out that in this context the situation differs significantly between developed and emerging countries, where banking penetration is not universal. In fact, in 2021, some 1.4 billion adults still did not have a bank account. For this reason, in his opinion, “investment in financial and digital education is a lever to ensure that the use of financial services is done in a mindful and responsible manner.”
Carlos Torres Vila stressed that, despite the significant progress made worldwide in financial education, many challenges still lie ahead, such as the need to reach the most vulnerable population or to adapt learning to demographic changes caused by greater longevity. In this respect, “at BBVA we are convinced that the combined effect of knowledge in digitization together with financial education will offer great opportunities to the whole of society and especially to the most vulnerable,” he said.
Carlos Torres Vila placed special emphasis on the role of education in overcoming the challenge of integrating sustainability into financial decisions. “At BBVA we work to improve society's knowledge and skills related to digitalization, finance and sustainability, including not only large investors, but also small savers, retail customers, entrepreneurs or non-profit organizations,” to collectively promote sustainable growth, he said.
Financial education for sustainable development
Carlos Torres Vila placed special emphasis on the role of education in overcoming the challenge of integrating sustainability into financial decisions. First, he believes it is critical for people to be aware of the impact of sustainability on the offering of financial products and services when it comes to making decisions. Secondly, the impact of their decisions must be conveyed to the financial consumer to contribute to a more sustainable world. Finally, this awareness and understanding must be translated into actionable decisions.
Carlos Torres Vila, BBVA Chair; Margarita Delgado, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Spain; Alejandra Kindelán, President of the Spanish Banking Association (AEB); Alejandro Beltrán, founder of Buda.com; and Antoni Ballabriga, Global Head of Responsible Business at BBVA. /BBVA
“At BBVA we work to improve society's financial knowledge and skills in sustainability, including not only large investors, but also small savers, retail customers, entrepreneurs or non-profit organizations,” he said.
European Commission prepares digital skills framework for young people and children
The European Commissioner spoke on BBVA's plan to create a financial education guide based on the framework developed by the European Commission and the OECD. In her speech, she underscored the bank's work in promoting financial education through the use of the financial literacy framework recently launched by the EC and the OECD.
McGuinness announced that the European Commission, together with the OECD, is preparing a financial literacy framework specifically aimed at children and young people, which is scheduled to be launched next year.
About EduFin Summit
EduFin Summit is a leading annual event on financial education, hosted by the BBVA Center for Financial Education and Capability. In 2022 it will return once again in person, in Madrid on September 29 and in Mexico City on September 30, after being held virtually in 2021 due to the pandemic.
Over two days, a range of experts address the key issues in financial education today: the need to become financially literate to build a more financially resilient society, digitization, financial inclusion and health, and sustainable finance.