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IP/07/162

Brussels, 8 February 2007

Financial services: conference on better financial education for EU consumers

To raise awareness of the need to provide high-quality financial education to consumers, the European Commission is organising a conference on "Increasing Financial Capability" in Brussels on 28 March 2007. Financial education has a vital role to play in ensuring that EU consumers and investors are equipped with the knowledge they need to make crucial financial decisions for themselves and their families, in areas such as planning for the costs of a child's education, managing credit sensibly, ensuring an adequate level of insurance cover and making provisions for retirement. This conference will also serve as a forum to exchange best practices between existing providers of financial education.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: "Today there is a huge range of financial products and services on offer. Financial education can help to give consumers the essential knowledge they need to make appropriate choices and I believe can often be superior to regulation from the perspective of protecting consumers and investors alike. I hope this conference will encourage public authorities, private institutions and the not-for-profit sector to learn from each other, and to do more to address the sometimes glaring knowledge deficit among consumers and investors on financial matters."

This high-profile conference, organised by the European Commission and with the support of the European Parliament and the German EU presidency, will feature a wide cross-section of specialist speakers on financial education. These range from financial regulators to consumer associations and from academics to financial industry associations. The conference will cover financial education through the progressive stages in a consumer's life: from educating young people; through life issues such as mortgages, credit and debt handling; to long-term savings and pension provision.

The agenda and online registration for attendees are available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/finances/fscg/index_en.htm#capabilityI


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