23rd November 2020, Skopje – Financial literacy is a public interest, since the individual and personal financial decisions affect the overall economic growth and development – concluded the first people of the financial regulatory institutions, which are part of the Coordinating Body for Financial Education and Financial Inclusion which is constituted of the Ministry of Finance, the National Bank, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Agency for Supervision of Fully Funded Pension Insurance (MAPAS) and the Insurance Supervision Agency (ISA). The event used to announce the Financial Literacy Days, which will last until 26 November and take place virtually for the first time, was addressed by the Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, the Governor of the National Bank, Anita Angelovska Bezhoska, the President of the SEC, Nora Aliti, the President of the Council of Experts of MAPAS, Maksud Ali and the President of the Council of Experts of the ISA, Krste Shajnoski.

The Minister of Finance pointed out that technology offers new opportunities and that citizens should be informed, should follow the trends for their own, but also the common good. He announced that next month there will be a public discussion on the law on payment systems which provides for new solutions and fintech opportunities and services offered at global level for our citizens.

“Financial literacy is not only a personal good, it is a public interest. When more people know to better evaluate economic affairs and to make right financial decisions, everybody reaps the benefits from that, because then we have lower probability of financial crises, we have greater probability of stable investments for stable growth. That is why financial literacy is important, not only for personal gain, but also for the general interest.” – Besimi said.

The Governor of the National Bank, Angelovska Bezhoska, among other things pointed out that basically, the latest survey of the OECD for Southeast Europe clearly suggests positive shifts in terms of financial literacy in the entire region, including in our country, but also emphasizes the need for further constant efforts of regulators in this area. The level of financial literacy of the adult population in our country amounts to 56% of the maximum, which is close to the average in Southeast Europe of 57%, but is lower than the achieved results of the countries of the EU and the OECD, of 64% and 65%, respectively, which also suggests a need for further activities.

“The activities that will be implemented during the Financial Literacy Days are only part of the series of activities that will follow in the forthcoming period. Here above all, I would highlight the activities for preparation of the first national Strategy for Financial Education and Financial Inclusion, that should soon be completed. Everything that we have provided for in it is based on the best international practices in the field of financial education because: “Education is a passport to the future, because the future belongs to those who are preparing for it today”.” – the Governor said.

Nora Aliti, the President of the SEC pointed out that financial education becomes more substantial, not only for the everyday financial needs, but also because it affects the economic growth, the financial stability, the growth of the individual well-being and the broader financial inclusion of citizens. 

“Investing in financial education is investing in the future. This year, in order to mark the Financial Education Days, the Securities and Exchange Commission will publish one new educational brochure under the title of “Invest wisely, manage reasonably”, in Macedonian, Albanian and English, together with several animated videos that treat the term for securities, the trading in financial instruments and protection when investing in the capital market.” – Aliti said.

The President of the Council of Experts of the Agency for Supervision of Fully Funded Pension Insurance – MAPAS, Maksud Ali, emphasized that the health crisis in the fully funded pension insurance caused an adjustment of the resources of development of digital connection between the institutions and development of tools as applications for the membership in the pension funds and monitoring of the individual accounts of the members themselves. Observing the stand that the process of educating and informing the members of the financial and pension system is a continuous process, as past years, the Agency throughout 2020 conducts activities, some with the Coordinating Body for Financial Literacy and Financial Inclusion, some with the pension companies, and some individually.

Ali also emphasized that the Agency, as a regulator and supervisor, will devotedly continue in the future to constantly work toward promotion of the pension system and the financial literacy and inclusion for developing the awareness of the public. Also, it will continue to cooperate with the institutions involved in the pension insurance and the relevant financial institutions in order to accomplish its mission to protect the interests of the members of the pension funds and to encourage the development of the fully funded pension insurance for safer pensioner’s days.

The President of the Council of Experts of the ISA, Krste Shajnoski, pointed out that the Agency will come more open toward citizens in the context of financial education. 

“Increasing transparency is the best response to the challenges we face. There is no greater education than the fact that the confidence of the insurees in the insurance sector grows. There is no greater education than increasing the choice of insurance policies that will be available to users and their promotion. The main function of the policies is to protect the security of life and property, but the insurance has a function and mobilization of free financial assets, their capitalization and fertilization.” – Shajnoski said.

During the Financial Literacy Days, the financial regulators organize numerous activities, of which they inform the public through their web sites and through the official sites of the social networks.

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