Improve the financial literacy and skills of each citizen

16:46-16/08/2022

Concluding the meeting of the National Steering Committee on Financial Inclusion on August 6, 2022, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked to focus on communication and education to improve financial knowledge, understanding, financial literacy and skills for people, so that they are really the center, the subject and benefit in the implementation of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy.

The meeting aimed to evaluate the implementation of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy to 2025, with a vision to 2030, in order to identify the difficulties and obstacles, and provide orientations for the key tasks to be implemented in the remaining months of 2022 and in 2023.

The National Steering Committee for Financial Inclusion was established under Decision 1394/QD-TTg dated September 11, 2020 of the Prime Minister. This is an inter-ministerial institution that assists the Prime Minister in the provision of guidance and the in the coordination of activities among the Ministries, agencies and local authorities on financial inclusion, for the implementation of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy.

The strategy provides views, goals, tasks and solutions to promote access to and use of financial products and services for all people and businesses, with a focus on those who have not yet reached them or have little access, especially people living in rural, remote and isolated areas, the poor, low-income people, women and other vulnerable groups.

The report of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and the opinions at the meeting unanimously assessed that, over the past 2 years, all levels and sectors have made great efforts to synchronously implement the tasks and solutions of the Strategy and have achieved great results in improving access to financial products and services for people and businesses in the economy.

The legal framework has been gradually improved, creating a favorable environment for the realization of the goals of financial inclusion. The supply network of financial products and services has developed widely throughout the country, especially service supply channels on modern platforms such as mobile phones and the internet.

Financial products and services are more diversified, more modern, safer, more convenient with reasonable cost, suitable for many customers thanks to the strong application of achievements of the Industry Revolution 4.0. Payment infrastructure continues to be invested and completed.

All levels and sectors actively carry out communication about the role and meaning of financial inclusion and financial education in diverse, creative and effective forms, thereby contributing to improving knowledge and financial literacy for the people. Completing mechanisms and policies on financial consumer protection.

In particular, a number of very important solutions, contributing to promoting the accessibility of financial products and services of people and businesses, have been actively coordinated by relevant ministries and sectors, such as: regulations allowing opening of payment accounts by electronic method (eKYC); pilot implementation of using telecommunications accounts to pay for goods and services of small value (Mobile Money service), building and officially operating the national database on population...

Increase people's confidence in the financial system

Speaking at the meeting, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made high evaluation for the efforts and positive results that the Ministries, agencies and local authorities have achieved in improving the legal frameworks and developing financial products and services. The communication work has been implemented in many diversified, creative and effective forms, such as a number of good quality television programs jointly produced by the SBV and the VTV, thereby helping to raise the public awareness of financial inclusion.

In her speech at the meeting, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hong, SBV Governor and Vice Chair of the NSC, shared about some international experience in financial inclusion. Governor Nguyen Thi Hong said that the policy of inclusive growth is the current trend in many countries around the world, as well as in various fora such as G20, APEC, ASEAN, etc. Inclusive growth must be reflected through the fact that economic growth goes in parallel with social equity and social security.

In some countries, the human development index and the happiness index, not economic growth, have been selected as the targets for improvement. And in order to achieve this goal, a lot of countries have issued national strategies for financial inclusion.

In Vietnam, the Government had assigned the SBV to take lead in coordinating with the Ministries and agencies to formulate the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which specifies the perspectives, objectives, tasks and solutions to promote the access to and the use of financial products and services by all people and businesses, with a focus on those who currently have no or little access, especially people living in the rural, remote and isolated areas; the poor, low-income people, women and other disadvantaged groups. She emphasized that in order to implement financial inclusion effectively, it requires the participation of many relevant Ministries and agencies in the dissemination of financial information and in assisting the people.

The SBV Governor further shared that in order to implement the agenda on Financial Inclusion, the SBV has been coordinating with Vietnam Television (VTV) to produce and broadcast financial education programs, such as: “Holding the purse-strings”, “Smart money”, etc., in order to raise the public understanding about money and the use of banking services. These TV programs have received a lot of attention from the people. In addition, the SBV has also coordinated with Hanoi-Amsterdam High School, Vietnam National University, the Banking Academy, etc. to organize competitions themed “Correct Understanding of Money”, with a view to helping students to understand more about money, as well as to develop proper skills of saving, paying, borrowing capital, and using money efficiently.

In the coming time, the SBV would continue to coordinate with the Ministry of Education and Training to implement more programs aimed to improve the understanding about money. This will be the ground for the implementation for several years, thereby raising the public understanding about using money wisely and efficiently.

The SBV welcomes and will take into serious consideration all opinions and comments, and especially follow the directions of the Prime Minister, to effectively implement the Financial Inclusion Strategy, develop a healty finance and banking system in order to increase people's confidence in the financial system. The SBV also recognizes the role of and recommend the local authorities to develop detailed plans to encourage the people and businesses to invest in the local socio-economic development; enhance the support mechanisms and policies and improve the capacity and the transparency of the SMEs, and improve the operations of guarantee funds for SMEs, thereby helping them to access capital resources for their production and business operations.

The SBV Governor affirmed that in order to continue the implementation of the Strategy in a consistent and effective manner, while still ensuring the key balances, maintaining the macroeconomic stability and improving the quality of life for the people, responding to the pandemic, ensuring the social security and maintaining a high economic growth rate, all of the relevant Ministries, agencies and local authorities need to be fully and deeply aware of the significance of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in achieving the national goals, as well as to organize for better implementation of the tasks and solutions included in the Strategy, and periodically report to the NSC for prompt guidance.

Tasks and solutions have been actively implemented by the Ministries and agencies

Speaking at the meeting, SBV Deputy Governor Nguyen Kim Anh, a member of the NSC, said that after more than two years since the promulgation of the Strategy, six groups of tasks and solutions specified in the Strategy have been actively implemented by the Ministries and agencies, specifically:

Firstly, the legal frameworks for achieving the financial inclusion objectives have been constantly improved. Up to now, the Ministries and agencies have formulated and submitted to the competent authorities to promulgate 1 Law, 6 Decrees, 5 Decisions, as well as many guiding circulars.

Secondly, supply organizations and distribution channels have continued to be developed. Up to now, the system of organizations providing financial products and services in the market has developed diversely, with presence in most of the cities and provinces across the country. The average number of branches and transaction offices of the commercial banks’ systems has reached 15.31 per 100,000 adults; the percentage of communes/towns with financial service points out of the total number of communes/towns nationwide (excluding Vietnam Bank for Social Policies) has reached 32.13%; the average number of ATMs per 100,000 adults has reached 27.70; the average number of POSs per 100,000 adults has reached 439.26. By end of 2021, transactions via the internet increased by 48.76% in value; transactions via smart phones rose by 87.5% in value; the transactions via QR code increased by 125%, while payment by card banks increased by 21.16% in value as compared to the figures of the same period of 2020, etc.

Thirdly, the basic financial products and services have been remarkably improved. The SBV has directed the commercial banks and the payment intermediaries to actively promote the provision of cashless payment services; Developing financial products and services for agriculture and rural production and business operations; Developing financial products and services for SMEs, cooperatives and household businesses, etc.

Fourthly, the financial infrastructure has continued to be improved and with the efficiency of use continuously increased. The SBV has continued to invest and upgrade the important payment systems, such as the interbank electronic payment system; the financial clearing and switching system; the automated clearing system for retail payment transactions (officially in operation since July 2020), etc.

Fifthly, financial education, capacity building, financial knowledge improvement and financial consumer protection have been given a lot of attention and strongly implemented. Many Ministries and agencies (such as the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Information and Communications, the SBV) have conducted training programs to improve the skills and knowledge about finance for the people and businesses, etc.

Sixthly, apart from the tasks and solutions mentioned above, a number of other solutions have been actively implemented by the Ministries and agencies. The SBV, the Ministry of Information and Communications, Vietnam Television, and the Voice of Vietnam Radio, as well as the local authorities have put a lot of efforts in the communication about the role and the meaning of financial inclusion, helping to raise the social awareness of financial inclusion. The SBV and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have promoted the cooperation with other countries and international partners; participated in the international programs and fora on financial inclusion, etc.

People are the center and subject of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy

On the concluding remarks, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stated that the National Financial Inclusion Strategy plays a very important role in creating favorable conditions for all people and businesses to access the necessary financial resources. necessary for development, raising incomes, improving people's living standards, and promoting the achievement of Vietnam's sustainable development goals by 2030.

The Prime Minister agreed with the assessment of the achievements and results, and pointed out that there are still many difficulties and challenges that need appropriate and effective solutions.

Accordingly, the network of financial service providers has not developed evenly, it is necessary to rationalize and expand the coverage further to rural, remote and difficult areas. towel.

The Prime Minister noted to do better communication on financial inclusion, especially communication so that each person can improve their thinking ability and financial skills. With the rapid development of science and technology, new entities, distribution channels, financial products and services appear, it requires the legal framework to be quickly supplemented and perfected.

According to the Prime Minister, the National Financial Inclusion Strategy to 2025 with orientation to 2030 has set out breakthrough solutions to promote financial inclusion and inclusion. This confirms the determination and willingness to approach new issues to successfully implement financial inclusion in Vietnam, bringing benefits to the people.

The Prime Minister emphasized a more comprehensive way of thinking, methodology and approach in implementing the Strategy. Accordingly, people are the center and subject of the Strategy, especially the disadvantaged, the poor people in remote areas. All policies must be people-oriented and people must actively participate in the implementation of policies. People need financial access to improve their material and spiritual life, conversely, when their material and spiritual life is improved, people must contribute to the implementation of the Strategy.

The Prime Minister stated that the finance and banking industry needs to proactively come up with solutions to accompany, connect and support people and businesses. The role of financial inclusion is becoming more and more important in the current context to ensure that all people and businesses can access appropriate financial resources and solutions, improve resilience, overcome the consequences caused by natural disasters and epidemics, towards stability and sustainable development.

Emphasizing the view that the central and local governments, people, businesses and the State work together, Prime Minister requested all relevant ministries, branches, agencies and localities to fully and deeply understand the meaning of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in achieving the goals, and at the same time organize the implementation of tasks and solutions, report on the implementation of the Strategy to the SBV for synthesis and report to the Prime Minister for timely instructions.

Communication Department