IBLF, Citi and Visa announced the launch of www.azbukafinansov.ru, a new national financial education Web portal
Moscow - October 29, 2008 Understanding the basics of finance will now be made easy with the new the National Financial Education Web Portal www.azbukafinansov.ru launched by IBLF in partnership with, Citi, Visa Inc., government and educational institutes. The new portal ‘ABC of Finance” is aimed to provide an educational platform for general public of any age, income level and background to assist with budget planning, savings and investments. ABC of Finance will also offer a free on-line services of independent financial consultants. Links to similar services in regions across Russia will also be available.
This is part of the national campaign to increase financial literacy implemented under the aegis of the Coordinating Committee for Financial Literacy, created by the Russian Ministry of Finance, the State Duma Committee for Financial Markets, the International Business Leaders Forum and Rossiya, an association of regional Russian banks.
The chairman of the project’s Board of Trustees, Anatoliy Aksakov, MP, said: “This project is one of the first in a series of future joint projects between the state, business and society, aimed at enhancing financial literacy among the general public, as well as expanding public access to the financial services market. This will not only allow Russian citizens to use the financial products they are offered more effectively, and assess the quality of services rendered, but also to avoid dubious transactions on the finance markets and build wealth; furthermore, it will facilitate greater stability and growth in the national economic system.”
According to Anna Zelentsova, Head of the financial literacy programme at the International Business Leaders Forum, and the project coordinator, “this is a shining example of successfully pooling the efforts of the private sector, state organizations and educational institutes, thanks to whom Russian schools, establishments of higher education and regular citizens will gain access to the materials they need to raise their level of financial literacy.”
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of the project for Russian schools, as the corresponding educational courses are almost completely absent; school lessons are alienated from real life, and the information available on the Internet usually consists of marketing materials. Meanwhile, sociological research recently conducted by NAFI on financial literacy among school-goers and their teachers shows that both groups have very high levels of interest in the well-structured exploration of the topic of personal finances.
Mark Robinson, President of Citi Russia, said, “It is an honour for us to be able to support the Russian Government in their efforts to introduce a range of financial education programs that aim to increase financial literacy among the general public across Russia. In today’s extremely complex and rapidly changing environment, understanding financial services and products is key to assist the public in making the right choices in their financial planning.”Many other Russian and international organizations have supported the programme by providing informational materials and pro bona services. For example, teachers at the Financial Academy offered expert reviews, lawyers at Clifford Chance analyzed credit contracts and made recommendations for consumers, and the Institute for Independent Financial Advisors gave expert reviews and consultations
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