Building up capital

18 March 2021

Education as a weapon against financial illiteracy

Every day, millions of people conduct all kinds of financial transactions: making payments, arranging credit and so forth. To understand the implications this will have, it is important to have basic financial knowledge.

Financial illiteracy is a “hidden” problem in Belgium

Not all Belgians have this basic knowledge. In a wealthy country like Belgium, financial illiteracy is often a “hidden” problem. In today’s society, with digital technology having become the norm, some people are at risk of being left behind. According to a study by the Ligue des Familles (an association that provides support for families) , in more than 1 household in 5 there is nobody who is capable of carrying out banking transactions online. It also found that almost a quarter of households do not know how to use a debit or credit card to make online payments. The same was observed by the OECD, which found that about one in seven students in Europe is unable to make even the simplest decisions about money or everyday spending. ING is concerned about this issue and wants to play its part to ensure there is better financial education for all.

"One in seven students in Europe is unable to make even the simplest decisions about money or everyday spending."

The creation of the “Financial Literacy Fund”

ING in Belgium is keen to assume its responsibilities in this area and has therefore created, together with its preferred partners in the world of investment funds – Amundi, AXA Investment Managers, BlackRock, NN Investment Partners and Franklin Templeton – the “Financial Literacy Fund” alongside the King Baudouin Foundation. What is ING's objective? To support society through specific initiatives designed to improve the Belgian population’s and especially young people’s financial knowledge.

Educating young people on finance through the “Mysteries of Finance” at the BELvue Museum

The Financial Literacy Fund’s first project was to finance an exhibition on financial education at the BELvue Museum: “Mysteries of Finance", the ministry that reveals everything about money and finance! This exhibition aims to give young people aged 12 and above an insight into financial issues and the associated challenges people face in their private and professional lives. During their visit to the museum, the young visitors are given all kinds of missions that challenge them to question their own ideas, doubts, opinions and prejudices. The interactive modules contain assignments and dilemmas concerning, for example, money, financial and non-financial values, saving, credit and the financial structure of a company. At every point along the way, they have to make a judgement, take a position, question themselves and discuss their opinions or experiences with each other.

What if we talked about money with children?

Do we spend due to need or desire? What does "making money " mean? Why do we borrow money? And why can advertisements be misleading? “The Money Talk” game, another initiative for young people developed by the “Think Forward Initiative”, encourages them to take an interest in money and ask questions about it. Take some time to play "The Money Talk” game, and improve your financial knowledge as a family while having fun.

How good is your financial knowledge?