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Central Banks of Portuguese-Speaking Countries discuss financial inclusion and education in Lisbon

On 4 and 5 July, Banco de Portugal held the 4th Meeting on Financial Inclusion and Education for Central Banks of Portuguese-speaking Countries. These meetings started in 2013 and take place every two years.

The 4th Meeting was attended by delegations from all central banks of the Portuguese-speaking countries: Banco Nacional de Angola, Banco Central do Brasil, Banco de Cabo Verde, Banco Central dos Estados da África Ocidental – Guiné Bissau, Banco de Moçambique, Banco Central de São Tomé e Príncipe, Banco Central de Timor-Leste and Banco de Portugal.

In the opening session, Carlos da Silva Costa, Governor of Banco de Portugal, underlined the importance of financial inclusion and education, both for the economic and social development of their countries, but also for the financial autonomy and citizenship of their population. The Vice-Governor of the Banco de Portugal, Luís Máximo dos Santos, stressed that technological innovation may lead to rapid financial inclusion, which, however, may pose risks if it is disconnected from a tandem increase in the financial education of citizens.

On the first day of the Meeting, the central banks of Portuguese-speaking countries shared their experiences in carrying out financial inclusion and education initiatives, and presented the main developments over the past two years. Day two was devoted to financial education in schools and digital financial education.

The panel discussion on financial education in schools was closed by the Secretary of State for Education, João Costa, who recalled that the Ministry of Education has acknowledged that financial education is a mandatory part of the Citizenship Education program for schools. The panel discussion was also attended by representatives of the Directorate-General for Education, the School Libraries Network and the International Network on Financial Education (OECD/INFE). The OECD/INFE representative reiterated that the growing digitalisation of financial services calls for greater investment in youth financial education. She also laid down the principles and good practice fostered by the OECD/INFE to improve financial literacy levels among this section of the population.

The panel on digital financial education discussed the opportunities and risks of the digital transformation of financial services and the importance of specific financial education initiatives to raise the awareness of the population, most notably young people, to precautions to take when using digital channels. In this panel discussion, Banco de Portugal presented its ongoing strategy for digital financial education, and underscored the campaign #toptip, targeting young people. Among the attendees of the panel discussion was the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, which shared several examples of initiatives where new technologies are being used to foster financial inclusion, most notably the use of digital channels to promote financial education.

The closing address was delivered by Isabel Alçada, Advisor to the President of the Republic on Education, and Luís Máximo dos Santos, Vice-Governor of Banco de Portugal.