CCPC welcomes adoption of OECD Recommendation on Financial Literacy

November 4, 2020

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) welcomes the adoption of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Recommendation on Financial Literacy at its Ministerial Council Meeting on 29 October.

The recommendation covers a number of areas. It recommends that OECD members develop a national financial literacy strategy to support the development and implementation of a range of financial education initiatives. It draws attention to the fast changing and increasingly digital nature of financial services, proposing that particular attention is paid to the development of financial literacy skills to help current and future generations of youth face contemporary financial challenges.

The recommendation goes on to identify a number of areas where broad financial education programmes, delivered using a variety of relevant channels, are required to support decision making on financial products including savings, pensions, investments, credit and insurance. The recommendation also provides guidance on the effective delivery of financial education programmes.

The CCPC specifically welcomes the OECD focus on a holistic approach to financial-consumer issues, which includes financial literacy, financial inclusion measures, financial consumer protection and regulatory frameworks. This is particularly important in supporting consumers’ financial resilience and well-being in the current economic climate.

The CCPC’s Financial Capability and Well-being in Ireland study found that a significant number of Irish people have little financial resilience beyond meeting current commitments and that 52% of people are meeting current financial commitments, but have little provision against financial shocks. Since the study was carried out, the Covid-19 pandemic has put further pressure on consumers’ finances and financial resilience, strengthening the need for consumers to be helped improve their financial well-being.

“The adoption of the OECD’s Recommendation on Financial Literacy again highlights the importance of financial literacy and financial education, along with consumer protection measures, in supporting consumers’ financial well-being and resilience. The CCPC is committed to playing our part in developing financial capability and well-being through our education programmes and information and by advocating for the provision of financial education in schools. We will also continue to work closely with other stakeholders who have a role in this area. The Recommendation and the specific guidance contained within will provide useful input as we further develop our financial well-being programmes”, said Fergal O’Leary, Member of the Commission.

The CCPC has a statutory role in relation to financial information and the development of financial education and capability in Ireland. The CCPC carries out this role by conducting public awareness campaigns on personal finance issues, providing online comparison tools for various financial products and providing personal finance information on our consumer website. The CCPC delivers three financial education programmes – Money skills for life for workplaces, Money Matters for Junior Cycle secondary students and Money Counts for the Leaving Cert Applied. In addition to this, we carry out research on financial capability in Ireland, such as the Financial Capability and Well-being in Ireland in 2018 study to inform our work on financial well-being and to help inform the work of other organisations working on financial capability in Ireland.

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