Since 2016, France has adopted a national strategy for economic, budgetary and financial education (EDUCFI) , like nearly 70 other countries, based on the high-level principles developed by the OECD and adopted by the G20. The Banque de France has been designated by the public authorities as the national operator, responsible for implementing the strategy.
Why a public strategy on this subject?
In a context of increasing complexity and technicality of the economy and the financial sector, everyone needs information and everyone has a right to it.
The technicality of the subjects is obvious and growing: globalized economy, diversified and often sophisticated financial products; new financial players; dematerialized transactions and payments… This context prevails in all countries.
Is it only a matter for specialists? No: everyone has to make “financial” decisions on a daily basis, such as managing their budget, saving money, financing a purchase or even preparing for retirement. Everyone also receives unsolicited financial proposals, particularly by phone, internet or on social networks. In addition, each citizen must be able to understand and influence economic debates, the outcome of which may have consequences on their everyday life.
Promoting “financial education” therefore responds to a triple social, economic and democratic stake. Budget and financial savvy individuals are better able to make choices tailored to their interests and avoid financial scams. Citizens, including families in financially fragile situations, who have the keys to better understanding economic debates are better able to judge their relevance.
Needs and expectations
The survey on financial literacy French sponsored by the Bank of France in recent years have highlighted a strong demand for financial education. Only 36% of those questioned consider that they have reliable information about their financial rights and 77% consider their financial knowledge to be average or poor  . In addition, 86% of respondents believe that budget and financial education education should be provided at school.
For example, 35% of respondents do not master a simple interest calculation; 56% do not understand the concept of capitalized interest. Only 56% correctly understand the effect of inflation on purchasing power.
A good command of basic knowledge in economic, budgetary and financial matters is a civic issue and an asset for everyone. It’s not about making everyone an expert, it’s about better understanding in order to better decide.
What does this cover? EDUCFI covers both the management of the personal or family budget, the learning of banking and insurance tools (accounts and means of payment, credit, savings, insurance), and the better understanding of economic concepts.
EDUCFI consists of information or training actions, for the benefit of the audiences defined by the strategy, aimed at enabling everyone to improve their practical knowledge on financial matters. Managing your money and savings better, controlling your debt, preventing financial scams, knowing who to contact in the event of difficulty are among the objectives.
Criteria to be respected: any action claiming to be part of the economic, budgetary and financial education strategy must meet its criteria and in particular neutrality, reliability, accessibility and free access.
According to the recommendations of the OECD, financial education actions must be clearly distinguished and separated from any commercial or marketing activity or context and cannot consist in promoting a product or an actor.