The regulatory institutions of the country’s financial system will intensify the activities for elevating the financial literacy level, also starting activities for improving the financial inclusion of the population. This was emphasized also at today's event organized on the occasion of the conclusion of the new Memorandum of Understanding in the field of financial education and financial inclusion between the National Bank, the Ministry of Finance, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Agency for Supervision of Fully Funded Pension Insurance and the Supervision Supervision Agency. With the Memorandum, the five institutions, in the line of their joint activities, for the first time include those that are in the domain of financial inclusion of the population.
The Governor of the National Bank, Anita Angelovska Bezhoska, stressed that the need for achieving higher financial inclusion is a global issue given the estimates that around 1.7 billion of the world's population still do not have access to the banking system. Referring to the World Bank data pointing out the necessity of improving the financial inclusion of the population in the country, she appeals that greater financial inclusion in different segments of the financial system requires joint engagement of regulatory institutions with regard to education and regulation, but also of private financial institutions in terms of providing greater availability and information about the offered financial services, including also the associated risks.
At th end of her address, Angelovska Bezoska said: "For us as regulators, the financial inclusion is a challenge, which means access of vast majority of the population to the financial system, but in a sustainable way, without excessive risks, which in the long run should contribute to a comprehensive economic growth whose benefits will be felt by all."
The Minister of Finance, Dragan Tevdovski, pointed out that everyone should have access to financial services in an easily accessible, secure manner and at affordable prices. He said the first step towards greater financial inclusion has already been made, and that is the Law on Payment Services and Payment Systems prepared by the Ministry of Finance together with the National Bank, which is still in a draft version.
“It provides for introduction of a payment account with basic functions, which can be opened by every citizen. According to the draft version, the account will be free of charge for the vulnerable categories, i.e. pursuant to the Law, they will receive free services for opening, maintenance of the account and payments. For other consumers, for the payment account with basic functions a reasonable fee will be charged"- said Tevdovski, pointing out that the Law also introduces solutions that will lead to liberalization of the payment services market, which, in turn, will contribute to enhanced competition and new, innovative ways of payment, easily accessible and at lower costs.
Regarding the financial education, the Minister of Finance invited all interested schools who wish to visit the Ministry or who are interested in attending a lecture by the employees of the Ministry to submit a request at the e-mail address: [email protected]
The President of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nora Aliti, said that no matter how developed a capital market is and no matter how many opportunities it offers, if the individual and potential investors are not informed and are not financially educated, then the opportunities will be lost before ignorance.
"I believe and I am fully convinced that by signing this Memorandum of Understanding, we are setting an important cornerstone in our joint efforts for close cooperation in achieving our common goal of improving the financial literacy of our population and for financial inclusion," Aliti said.
The Chairman of the MAPAS Council of Experts, Maksud Ali, pointed out that they are also focused on continuous informing of the public about all news related to the area of capital funded pension insurance. "We are constantly undertaking activities for raising public awareness and especially of young people as future members of the three-pillar pension system. We carry out activities through youth campaigns and visits to secondary schools and faculties, through information leaflets, regular updating of our website and Facebook page, through the creation and delivery of the electronic newsletter E-MAPAS and through joint marketing campaigns with the existing pension companies "KB Prvo penzisko drustvo" AD Skopje and "Sava pension company" ad. Skopje. "- said Ali.
Recalling that financial education, literacy and digital information literacy are among the most important features of the modern society, Ratka Celakovski from the Insurance Supervision Agency stressed that they strongly believe that joint engagement and commitment of all relevant institutions in the country will contribute to greater inclusion and coverage of the population in the processes of raising the level of financial literacy. “The Agency has undertaken numerous initiatives and activities for raising the financial education for many years, among which are: organizing workshops, open days, holding professional presentations, publishing brochures and leaflets, social games from which young people learn about risks and how to manage them, cooperation with schools and universities through their visits, etc. "- emphasized Celakovski.
At today's event in the National Bank, it was announced that during the next week numerous activities will be held in the country on the occasion of the traditional Global Money Week. Most of the activities will be for the youngest. "All that we accomplish and will accomplish in the field of financial education of young people, is at the same time our investment in the future. As institutions, we are obliged to adopt policies for the development and support of the financial system and the economy in the long run. Through the activities for improving the financial knowledge of the young, we contribute to building the capacity of generations that will be the main bearers of the economic and financial flows in the country in the future.“ - it was emphasized at the event.
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