Are You Financially Literate about Your 'Stage of Life'?
Scotiabank announces global 'life stages' financial literacy strategy to mark Financial Literacy Month in Canada
TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Ushering in Financial Literacy Month in Canada, Scotiabank today announced the introduction of a global financial literacy strategy to support communities in Canada and across Scotiabank's global network. Under the new strategy, which is part of the Bank's Bright Future program, Scotiabank will implement a life stages approach to financial literacy to encourage lifelong financial learning and ensure that people's varying needs, at different stages of life, are met.
"This strategy provides a financial literacy roadmap for Scotiabank, its products and services and its philanthropic efforts to ensure our customers and communities around the world are getting the financial information they need, in plain language and in a timely fashion," said Kaz Flinn, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility for Scotiabank. "We encourage everyone to develop their own financial roadmap and seek continued expert guidance throughout their lives."
Scotiabank's global financial literacy strategy will be guided by a mission statement: "Scotiabank is committed to providing access to education, resources and advice that enable individuals to make knowledgeable and responsible financial decisions, while giving them the confidence they need to save and invest for a bright future."
The strategy identifies four life stages pillars, stages in life when people have different financial needs and therefore different information requirements.
- Starters - These people are at the beginning of their relationship with a financial institution, have little experience with financial products, and a need to understand basic banking concepts. Starters will experience a number of firsts during this life stage.
- Builders - Builders are of varied backgrounds at this life stage and have a number of financial needs. Regardless of financial standing and career path, this life stage contains events that will shape their financial health.
- Accumulators - These individuals are generally established in their line of work and may be married and/or have children. They have assets to protect and a number of life events related to their finances. As these individuals approach retirement they may need more education about their finances.
- Preservers/De-accumulators - No longer working and living on fixed incomes, these people may not be technically savvy or familiar with current banking technologies. At this life stage the consumer is also more likely than at any other segment to be divorced, separated or widowed.
Commenting on Scotiabank's strategy of continued learning, Gary Rabbior, President of the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) said, "While CFEE focuses on building learning foundations for financial literacy in schools, we also believe Canadians need to be lifelong learners - motivated, able, and effective in being able to handle and manage their financial affairs as they face new life events and challenges. Scotiabank's financial literacy strategy is effective in this regard- targeting the priorities and needs that Canadians have at different stages of their lives and aiming to provide assistance as it is needed and in a manner that can be clearly understood and helpful."
"Given the international nature of Scotiabank's business, it was important for us to develop a strategy that would be applicable across many different cultures and priorities," said Ms. Flinn. "Life stages are not based on age or assumed wealth, but on the financial events that shape your life, and so while starters in one country may be school age children, in another they may be 20 years old and opening their first bank account. Our aim is to look at the advice needed at a life stage, rather than have our financial literacy programs defined by demographics."
In Canada, the federal government placed a priority on strengthening financial literacy and in 2009 created the Financial Literacy Task Force. A resulting 2011 report on financial literacy called on financial institutions to assume shared responsibility to educate, inform and engage Canadians on the merits of financial literacy. Additionally, Canadian financial institutions were requested to report on financial literacy activities in their corporate social responsibility reports. Scotiabank will report its financial literacy activities beginning with the 2012 Scotiabank Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With more than 81,000 employees, Scotiabank and its affiliates serve some 19 million customers in more than 55 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With assets of $670 billion (as at July 31, 2012), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.
About Scotiabank's Global Bright Future Program
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $45 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.
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