Financial education is designed to provide the citizen and the consumer with the knowledge, skill set and abilities they need to make sustainable decisions about savings or investment practices. Financial education, along with transparent contractual conditions and an effective system in place to resolve disputes between intermediaries and customers, ensures a customer’s protection in the banking and financial markets. Financial education is open to all young people, adults and the elderly. It is usually carried out by public institutions, associations, banks and supranational organizations. It can be taught in schools and universities, with vocational training courses or just by taking advantage of mass media services such as print, television and websites.
By learning the basic principles of economics and finance, an individual and their family can decide on how much to spend, save and invest. They’ll be able to maintain their economic well-being, secure a pension annuity or protect themselves from unforeseen events. Technological progress and the integration of international markets have changed the way banks do business and have increased the level of risk. Even in times of economic crisis, it’s important to understand the products, rules, and financial processes so one can assess performance in relation to costs. Consequently, the need for an adequate financial education has increased, especially in young people who are facing financial choices and situations more demanding than those experienced by their parents at the same age. Recently, insitutions, goverments and supranational organizations have implemented an increasing number of initiatives to raise awareness among the younger generation in how to properly handle money. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, for example, promotes the PISA survey every three years. This survey assesses the level of education among adolescents in major industrialized countries.