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Financial education is the process by which financial consumers improve their understanding of financial products, concepts and risks. Through information, instruction and objective advice, individuals develop their skills and confidence and become better aware of financial risks and opportunities. They make informed choices, know where to go for help, and take other effective action to improve their financial well-being.

Financial education

According to European Commission and OECD estimates, financial literacy remains one of the key competences in modern society in addition to reading and mathematics. Therefore, in December 2010, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the National Financial Education Programme. The programme was developed by an interministerial working group consisting of representatives from ministries responsible for finance, the economy, labour and social affairs, and education. They worked closely with supervisory authorities and interest groups from the world of finance and the Slovenian Consumers' Association.

National Financial Education Programme

The National Financial Education Programme represents a systematic and coordinated effort to raise people’s financial capability on a national level.

Financial literacy is only one of the components of financial capability that the government aims to develop through the National Financial Education Programme. In order to be financially capable, an individual must know how to manage their personal or family finances, be able to plan in advance and adopt decisions related to financial products or services and keep up to speed with innovations in the financial market within the scope of their needs.

In this respect, they may face decision-making problems, such as self-control, hesitation, an inability to coordinate wishes, goals, aims and actual needs, problems developing a financial strategy and choosing an appropriate financial product or service.

Aim of the National Financial Education Programme

The aim of the National Financial Education Programme is to improve all components that make up a financially capable individual. This means improving the individual's functional literacy, which includes financial literacy. It is a long-term process that requires integration and coordination with other policies on the financial protection of individuals.

The main body responsible for providing, coordinating and supervising the effectiveness of the implementation of financial education, and for monitoring the status of financial education in Slovenia is the state through responsible ministries and their affiliated bodies.

The importance of financial education

Through financial education, individuals can improve their understanding of financial products and concepts and develop the capabilities needed to improve their financial literacy, namely to become aware of financial risks and opportunities and make informed choices. It is a life-long process.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development devotes considerable attention to financial education. Considering that governments and relevant public and private institutions can benefit from international guidelines in their efforts to implement financial education programmes, the OECD published its Recommendation on Principles and Good Practices for Financial Education and Awareness.

The OECD principles and recommendations were adopted by all of its members, including Slovenia. The OECD constantly monitors financial market activities and evaluates the appropriateness of existing financial education.

European Commission

Financial education supplements the measures aimed at providing relevant information, protection and advice. The sum of these policies helps improve individuals' potential to make the best decisions based on their financial situation. In light of this, the importance of financial education is also recognised by the European Commission in its new action plan to strengthen the Capital Markets Union in the coming years. 

Various international studies have shown that individuals generally have a poor understanding of financial matters and the basics of economics. At the same time, educating citizens on financial matters is becoming increasingly important as innovation and globalisation are broadening the range and complexity of financial services on offer.