7 October 2016
Sydney, 6 October 2016: Targeting the right information to people at different life stages is important to improve financial literacy levels, the Australian Bankers’ Association said today.
Today the ABA held its biennial Financial Literacy Conference, bringing together regulators, community organisations and financial service providers to discuss how to get cut-through in educating children, youth, adults and retirees about money management.
“It is important that as times change, so does the way we assist people manage their money, build savings and manage debts,” ABA Executive Director – Retail Policy Diane Tate said.
“It is up to all of us to adapt to people’s changing preferences. The more consumers understand how money works for them, the more likely they are to avoid financial difficulties.”
The Conference looked at how technology has changed the way we do our banking and the risks and opportunities this brings. It also explored whether the way consumers behave influences how they respond to receiving financial information.
Key speakers included Peter Kell, Deputy Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, international guest Dan Iannicola, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Financial Literacy Group, and Alan Oster, Group Chief Economist at National Australia Bank.
“Banks recognise that people like to do their banking in different ways,” Ms Tate said.
“While doing banking on a mobile is convenient for many customers, branches and technology kiosks play an important role in delivering customer services.
“Technology offers fantastic opportunities for customers to control how they use products and services, to customise their preferences and even get a bit of financial literacy along the way,” she said.
“The banking industry has today renewed its commitment to ensuring that more customers can access safe and affordable banking products and services. This includes people with a disability, older Australians and Indigenous Australians.
“A number of banks offer fee-free bank accounts to suit low-income earners or people who receive a government benefit. In addition, bank customers in certain very remote Indigenous communities don’t pay ATM fees as part of an agreement between the Federal Government and banks.
“We will continue to consult with stakeholders and review our commitments every three years to ensure we meet the changing expectations of the public,” Ms Tate said.
Contact: Stephanie Arena 0477 470 677 or Nic Frankham 0435 963 913
Access to credit opens up opportunities and fulfills aspirations. Getting it right requires the right balance between consumer protections and the flow of credit.
Interviewed by AM’s Peter Ryan, ABA CEO Anna Bligh talked about the substantial drop in loan deferrals since their peak during the pandemic, falling from 900,000 to 300,000.