Australian Bankers' Association Inc.

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Consumers


ABA's Financial Literacy Program

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Financial literacy is a vital life skill that goes well beyond saving and borrowing. We need to ensure that all Australians can understand how to behave with their finances, manage their money, increase their savings, make good investment decisions, manage their debt and understand how to behave with their spending.

Understanding where to get information and how to use information on banking products and services will help us make informed decisions. We also need to think about the way we want to bank or save or invest and understand what products and services best suit our needs.

Financial literacy is not just about numeracy – even if we are good with numbers we might not be good at managing our money. Financial literacy is about people gaining a practical understanding of financial matters and the consequences of their own behaviours that will affect their financial well-being.

The ABA’s Financial Literacy Info Centre provides user-friendly access to financial literacy information and programs developed by Australia’s banking sector.


ABA's Financial Literacy program

Even though many Australians have a good foundation of basic skills, it is very clear that challenges remain. These challenges include helping to increase understanding in the areas of managing money, saving, investing, managing credit, homeownership, superannuation and planning for retirement as well as assisting the most vulnerable in our community, many of whom are struggling with financial skills.

Australia’s banks have recognised the importance of financial education for many years and have put in place their own financial literacy programs. The ABA’s “Broadening Financial Understanding” program is designed to work alongside and complement the programs of its member banks.

The ABA is committed to improving financial literacy for all Australians. 

The ABA’s program has been running since 2004 and aims to help Australians make confident and informed decisions regarding their own finances.

Financial literacy is one of the ABA’s long-term priorities. The program consists of three key objectives:

  • Information dissemination program: Objective to enhance distribution and delivery of existing and new materials in collaboration with partners.

    In practice: Disseminating easy to understand facts and information to consumers so they are aware of their financial opportunities and choices (with member banks assisting consumers in making their decisions).

  • Access and awareness program: Objective to increase awareness and access to ABA and banks’ own financial literacy materials and programs.

    In practice: Raising awareness and understanding by providing consumers with messages about the long-term importance of being in control of their finances (with member banks backing these messages up with education, training and guidance).

  • Materials development program: Objective to continue to develop generic materials and resources to promote ‘responsible spending leadership’.

    In practice: Assisting consumers find the right product or service for them by providing them with the financial knowledge and skills to understand the consequences of their financial decisions (with member banks ensuring consumers have access to banking products and services).

Key stakeholders

Improvements in financial literacy depend upon the coordinated and sustained efforts of a number of stakeholders, including consumer and community groups, educators, government and the financial services industry. 

The ABA’s program seeks to leverage partnership opportunities with these stakeholders.

The ABA recognises the importance of the “National Financial Literacy Strategy” (http://www.financialliteracy.gov.au) and the Australian Government’s Financial Literacy Board (http://www.flb.gov.au). 

Michael Smith, Chief Executive Officer, ANZ Banking Group and ABA Chairman, is a member of the Financial Literacy Board.

The ABA also acknowledges the importance of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) consumer website “MoneySmart”, which provides useful information to help people make smart choices about money (http://www.moneysmart.gov.au). 

Read more about MoneySmart Week

The ABA will consult with key stakeholders throughout the development and implementation of the ABA’s program. Groups with expertise on the specific financial challenges faced by youth, women, people with a disability, older people, Indigenous Australians living in rural and regional areas will be consulted.

The ABA will look to take a leadership role in encouraging the adoption of a national financial literacy agenda that is based on solid research and consultation.

Links to ABA member banks financial literacy information

A number of ABA member banks produce publications, information and tools as well as offer education seminars and workshops which customers can use to assist them in making financial decisions.

Click on the links of banks for more information on their financial education, financial literacy and financial inclusion activities:

ANZ Banking Group

Bendigo Bank

BOQ

Citibank Australia

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

HSBC

NAB

Westpac

Contacting the ABA

If you have any questions about the ABA’s “Broadening Financial Understanding” program or want any more information we would be happy to receive your call. Please call us on: (02) 8298 0417 or freecall on: 1800 009 180.


MoneySmart

ASIC has a website to help you make smart choices about money. For more information about managing your money, you can read this article or visit Money Smart.

MoneySmart website

Scam Alert

The Australian Bankers’ Association is warning of a telephone survey scam which is falsely using the ABA’s name in an attempt to de-fraud bank customers.