Financial education strategies and best practices within the European Union
The EESC has repeatedly spoken about the need to promote financial education policies with a view to improving consumer protection in the financial markets. This results from the fragile position of the retail consumer faced with a market inundated with complex financial instruments and a financial sector that has to some extent been behaving irresponsibly by not informing people about the risks that these products entail. Financial education is the process through which consumers improve their understanding of financial products, financial risks and the opportunities presented by the market,... so that they can make informed decisions on their finances. Making financial education widely accessible will benefit society as a whole, reducing the risk of financial exclusion and encouraging consumers to plan ahead and save, which would also help to prevent people getting into excessive debt. To promote financial awareness among consumers, various different initiatives – known as financial education schemes – have been set up by supervisory bodies, financial institutions and other players in civil society.