ABA's Financial Literacy Program
Financial literacy is a vital life skill that goes well beyond saving and borrowing. All Australians need to have the knowledge, skills, capabilities and capacities to understand how to manage their money, build their savings, make sound investment decisions, and manage their debts, now and into the future.
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, spending, saving, investing, managing credit, insurance, homeownership, superannuation and planning for retirement as well as assisting the most vulnerable in our community
Financial literacy is one of the banking industry’s long-term priorities and we are committed to continuing to invest in these financial literacy programs and activities to help all Australians take control of their money and finances.
The banking sector believes that it will take a comprehensive approach through coordinated and sustained efforts to build financial literacy in Australia. With this in mind, the principles that guide the banking sector’s efforts include:
- Strong leadership and engagement
- Good policy and practice
- Effective promotion and collaboration
The ABA’s “Broadening Financial Understanding” program was introduced in 2004 and aims to help Australians make confident and informed decisions regarding their money and finances.
The industry program is designed to work alongside and complement the programs of its member banks and consists of three key components:
Materials development program: Objective to develop materials and resources to promote banking concepts across the community and address areas of interest and need for target audiences.
The ABA will work with member banks and consumer stakeholders to identify areas of interest and need for consumers.
The ABA will develop free and impartial information, tools and resources and seek to assist consumers to understand and find the right banking product or service for them, to grow their financial knowledge and skills to make informed decisions or seek additional information and advice, to understand the consequences of their financial decisions now and into the future, and to prepare themselves for different life stages.
Member banks will ensure consumers have access to tailored programs and activities which seek to build individual financial capabilities and capacities as well as family and community financial resilience.
Information dissemination program: Objective to enhance distribution and dissemination of materials in collaboration with partners.
The ABA will work with member banks and consumer stakeholders to disseminate easy to understand facts, information, tools and resources to consumers so they are aware of their financial opportunities and choices.
Member banks will assist consumers in making their financial decisions.
Access and awareness program: Objective to increase access to financial literacy materials, programs and activities as well as raise awareness about financial literacy and financial capability for individuals, families and communities.
The ABA will work with member banks and consumer stakeholders to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of attaining and maintaining knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours which support sound financial decisions by providing consumers with messages about the long-term importance of taking control of their money and finances.
Member banks will ensure consumers have access to banking products and services and reinforce financial literacy messages with education, information, and guidance.
The ABA’s “Position on Financial Literacy” has been revised and published in support of the National Financial Literacy Strategy 2014-2017. The Position outlines the banking sector’s commitment and the key actions Australia’s banks will pursue to help raise levels of financial literacy in Australia.
To read the ABA’s “Position on Financial Literacy” click here
The banking sector believes that improvements in financial literacy depend upon the coordinated and sustained efforts of a number of stakeholders, including consumer and community groups, educators, government, the banking and financial services industry, and other businesses.
The industry program seeks to leverage cross-sector partnership opportunities with these stakeholders, and in particular, consumer stakeholders with valued and trusted relationships within their communities.
The ABA acknowledges the importance of the Australian Government’s Financial Literacy Board and the National Financial Literacy Strategy 2014-2017. The banking sector endorses the five strategic priorities contained in the Strategy: educate the next generation, particularly through the formal education system; increase use of free, impartial information, tools and resources; provide quality targeted guidance and support; strengthen coordination and effective partnerships; and improve research, measurement and evaluation.
For more information on the National Financial Literacy Strategy 2014-2017 click here [www.financialliteracy.gov.au]
The ABA supports the role played by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the importance of the ASIC consumer website “MoneySmart”, which provides useful information to help people make smart choices about money.
To view the MoneySmart website click here [www.moneysmart.gov.au]
The ABA and the banking sector also support the MoneySmart Week initiative, which is an independent and not-for-profit initiative. MoneySmart Week includes:
- A call to action for all Australians to take the next step in their financial health. A national awards program to recognise outstanding achievements in financial literacy.
- Promotion of existing money management programs, tools and resources; and
- A range of special events in workplaces and the community, including programs and activities by the ABA and banks.
To view the MoneySmart Week initiative website click here [www.moneysmartweek.org.au]
The ABA will consult with key stakeholders throughout the development and implementation of the ABA’s program. Specifically, groups with expertise on the financial challenges faced by youth, women, people with a disability, older people,
Indigenous Australians living in remote 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:
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.