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17-032MR The Hon. Kelly O’Dwyer MP launches Financial Literacy Annual Highlights Report
The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon. Kelly O’Dwyer MP today launched the National Financial Literacy Strategy Annual Highlights Report 2015-16 at an event at Parliament House in Canberra.
Speaking at the event, Minister O'Dwyer highlighted the Australian Government's commitment to supporting Australians' financial literacy skills. 'Financial literacy helps not only with improving living standards but also ensures a more effective financial services industry. With an ever wider range of financial products and financial services being made available to consumers, financial literacy empowers individuals so that they can master the complexities of decision-making around these products – and they can take full advantage of the benefits that flow from financial innovation,' said Ms O'Dwyer.
The Annual Report paints a national picture of financial literacy programs and initiatives delivered by a wide range of organisations across the government, education, industry and community sectors in support of the National Financial Literacy Strategy, led and coordinated by ASIC. Many of these were delivered through partnerships and together they assisted over 700,000 people through targeted financial literacy activities.
ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft emphasised the importance of these programs, including ASIC's own financial capability program, in supporting better financial outcomes for Australian consumers.
'It is encouraging to see many of the projects use a grass-roots approach to provide support where it is most needed, particularly with consumers who may be vulnerable. With this in mind, ASIC provides tailored resources for priority audiences including Indigenous Australians, women and CALD communities,' said Mr Medcraft.
Mr Medcraft said he was proud of ASIC's MoneySmart service, which offers free trusted and impartial financial guidance and tools to help Australians manage life's different financial decisions and attracted over 6 million visits in 2015-16.
'ASIC's MoneySmart is our dedicated service to support and assist Australians with all aspects of their finances, whether it be managing the weekly budget, saving up for – and then paying off - a home, getting the right insurance in case of disaster, or planning to have enough in retirement,' he said.
Also speaking at the event, Paul Clitheroe AM, Chairman of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board said, 'I am extremely proud of the rich and diverse range of programs to support the financial capability of Australians and the progress that has been made to date.'
'Building financial capability is a long term journey, led by ASIC on behalf of the Australian Government, to effect real change for the Australian community,' said Mr Clitheroe.
ASIC is the Australian Government agency responsible for financial literacy, consistent with its strategic priority to promote confidence and trust in the financial system. Financial literacy is about having the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours to make good financial decisions. It is part of ASIC’s strategic priority to promote consumer trust and confidence in the financial system.
ASIC’s MoneySmart website provides impartial and trusted financial guidance and tools to support informed financial decision-making for all Australians.
ASIC leads and coordinates the National Financial Literacy Strategy, which sets out a national framework for financial literacy work in Australia. The Strategy highlights the importance of providing people with tailored resources and tools, and of responding to the financial issues facing vulnerable sectors of the community.
The five priorities set out in the National Strategy are:
- Educate the next generation, particularly through the formal education system;
- Increase the use of free, impartial information, tools and resources;
- Provide quality targeted guidance and support;
- Strengthen co-ordination and effective partnerships; and
- Improve research, measurement and evaluation.