The Financial Services and Markets Authority organizes on 31 January the first national conference on financial education in the presence of Her Royal Highness, Princess Mathilde. During the conference, the new programme and new financial education portal (www.wikifin.be), and the savings account simulator developed by the FSMA were presented.
"The FSMA is delighted to organize the first financial education conference in Belgium. Contributing to the financial education of consumers is one of the missions entrusted to the FSMA by the Belgian legislature. It is for this reason that the FSMA has developed a brand and a financial education website, wikifin.be, with the sole aim of helping citizens with their financial decisions", stated Jean-Paul Servais, Chairman of the FSMA.
One of the FSMA's key objectives is to equip consumers with information and simple tools to enable them to make informed choices that are best suited to their personal financial needs.
Princess Mathilde spoke during the opening session of the conference, demonstrating support for the project, especially with respect to young people. Deputy Prime Ministers, Steven Vanackere, Minister of Finance, and Johan Vande Lanotte, Minister of Economy and Consumer Affairs, also spoke during the official launch of the financial education programme and of the new wikifin.be portal, as well as during the presentation of the savings account simulator.
The savings account simulator, which provides savers with a personalized comparison online of several accounts, is available from today on wikifin.be. After having entered certain data, in particular the initial capital to deposit, any subsequent amounts, and the investment horizon, consumers will receive a list of results that shows what return the different savings accounts will give them on their savings. The information on these accounts has been provided by the financial institutions and will be updated by them in the event of any modifications. The banks have voluntarily acceded to a protocol for this purpose that determines which information must be provided.
"With the simulator, savers will from now on have a simple means of comparing the various savings formulas offered by different banks. By being able to compare products side by side, consumers can make a more informed choice of the formula that is most suited to them", explained Johan Vande Lanotte, Minister of Economy and Consumer Affairs.
"Only when citizens are well informed can they make the correct savings and investment decisions", explained Steven Vanackere, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. Yves Leterme, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and former Prime Minister, and Peter Praet, chief economist of the European Central Bank (ECB), also delivered speeches.
In addition to the launch of the FSMA's financial education programme, of the portal, and of the savings account simulator, the aim of this conference is to gather together all of those concerned by financial education in Belgium. Education plays a crucial role in raising awareness amongst the young. During the conference, the office of Marie Dominique Simonet, Minister for Compulsory Education and Social Advancement for the French-speaking community of Belgium, and Pascal Smet, Flemish Minister for Education, Youth, Equal Opportunities, and Brussels Affairs organized round tables to discuss financial education issues relating to youth, as well as the resources needed to integrate this subject into the curriculum.
Discover the new financial education portal at www.wikifin.be.
You can also follow us on Twitter @wikifin_FR or @wikifin_NL