Philippines hosts international forum on financial education

Rappler.com
Citi and Financial Times draw more than 280 delegates from 30 countries

Financial education experts and policy makers from 30 countries will gather in Manila on December 5 and 6 for the 9th annual Citi-FT Financial Education Summit, the leading international forum on financial capability.  This year’s event – organized by the Citi Foundation, the Pearson Foundation and the Financial Times and co-sponsored by IFC, Prudential and Visa – will convene more than 280 representatives from non-profit organisations, financial institutions, government agencies/regulators, multilateral institutions, microfinance institutions, educational organisations and private business.

Signifying its commitment to promoting financial education, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has agreed to be this year’s Host Partner with Gov. Amando C. Tetangco, Jr. making the opening address. The two-day event, with the theme ‘Financial Capability as a 21st Century Life Skill’, aims to establish the case for financial capability as a critical competency for modern society, in both developing and developed economies.

Additional speakers include senior representatives of the Russian Ministry of Finance, New Zealand Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income, Child and Youth Finance International, Innovations for Poverty Action, International Finance Corporation, APEC Financial System Capacity Building, CGAP, Kenan Institute Asia, PlaNet Finance, Center for Financial Services Innovation and World Bank.  Philippine institutions engaged in financial education are also participating, including the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Philippine Stock Exchange, Bayan Academy and Cantilan Bank.

“Through our support for the Citi-FT Financial Education Summit, Citi once again underscores its role as a financial capability thought-leader, not only in the Asia Pacific, but also globally. As we celebrate 200 years, we cannot overemphasize the importance that financial education plays in promoting responsible finance across all our stakeholders – from our employees to our clients to our local communities.” said Citi’s Head of ASEAN, Michael Zink.

The Manila Summit will showcase leading financial education programs that support key segments, such as in school and out of school youth, entrepreneuers, migrant workers, farmers and at-risk women. In addition, the conference will address the fundamental challenges around impact assessment, sustainable delivery models, program standards and multi-sector partnerships.

“Providing people access to opportunities – such as trainings in enterprise development and microfinance – is a key advocacy of our citizenship activities here in the Philippines. But we also recognize that these initiatives must be coupled with equally effective financial education programs. This is what the Citi-FT Financial Education Summit promotes every year, and I am pleased that the Philippines, which has one of the most vibrant non-profit and microfinance sectors in the world, will be hosting an event that will encourage further development and discussion in this field.” added Citi Country Officer, Sanjiv Vohra.

“Sharing perspectives and learning first-hand the best practices of organizations driving financial inclusion across the Asia Pacific region is a key component of the Citi-FT Financial Education Summit,” said Mark Nieker, Pearson Foundation President and CEO. ”We also plan to share the summit proceedings on the internet so that financial education leaders everywhere can have access to best practice.”

The Citi-FT Financial Education Summit is in line with Citi’s broader commitment to promoting financial inclusion in the Philippines. This year’s event is part of a Financial Inclusion Week, which launched with the 10th Citi Microentrepreneuership Awards (CMA) Ceremony on December 3rd. The CMA program, which has run annually since 2002 in partnership with BSP and the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, has recognized nearly 100 winners in the last decade, and continues to champion economic heroism by providing not only cash prizes, but also access to microinsurance, entrepreneurship training and customized mentoring to microentrepreneurs.

Also, taking place during the week, Child & Youth Finance International is holding its Asia Pacific Regional Meeting on December 4 in partnership with the BSP. The Philippines will also host a workshop on December 7 organized by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a research centre based out of Yale University. The seminar, which will focus on evaluation and product tests, will introduce local organizations to the Citi-IPA Financial Capability Research Fund, which aims to support impact assessments and research studies on innovative financial education programs across the world. Finally, PlaNet Finance will be hosting an International Conference on the Development and Delivery of Financial Education to Microfinance Clients on December 7 and 8.

Citi has been a pioneer in financial education in the Philippines with signature programs for the disadvantaged, youth and the general public.  These include Use Credit Wisely, the longest-running credit education program in the Philippines for consumers; Estudyantipid, a series of cable television programs embedded in the public school curriculum for grade school students; Hatch to Wealth, a financial education program targeted for entry level workforce; Money Matters for Kids, a travelling financial literacy exhibit for young children; and Citi Junior Bankers, which aims to bridge the quality education gap for college students enrolled in public universities.

More information about the Citi-FT Financial Education Summit 2012 can be found at: www.FinancialEducationSummit.org. Follow the event live on Twitter at #FinEd2012 or https://twitter.com/FTLiveTweets.

Follow Rappler’s live blog for a blow-by-blow account. 

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