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ASIC report highlights financial literacy progress

ASIC report highlights financial literacy progress

The regulator has reported progress in its initiative to boost financial literacy amid growing concerns over financial stress.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released its National Financial Literacy Strategy Annual Highlights Report 2016–17, which has highlighted growth in the National Financial Literacy Strategy led by the regulator.

In 2016–17, more than 60 per cent of schools engaged with ASIC’s MoneySmart Teaching Program, with over 11,900 teachers and more than 650,000 students participating.

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On the whole, over 330,000 Australians were assisted through a financial education program within the same period.

Chairman of the Australian government’s Financial Literacy Board, Paul Citheroe AM, is encouraged by the results, but he believes that there is still much work to be done.

“It’s heartening to see from this report that we are, collectively, making progress. But we’re also very much aware that we need to be in this for the long haul,” the board chairman said.

“Changes in people’s attitudes and behaviours around money doesn’t happen overnight, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

“Everyone’s personal situation is different, and the way they interact with money and the financial service system is shaped by their own life experiences, motivations and opportunities.”

Mr Citheroe pointed to the latest survey results from ASIC’s Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Trackers, which revealed that one in three respondents found dealing with money stressful, while one in five noted that they were not able to save money in the last six months.

“Some Australians out there are doing it tough,” the chairman continued.

“We know that anyone may be vulnerable to finding themselves in financial hardship through a change in circumstances, such as job loss, illness or separation.

“With growing levels of debt, it may not take much to get behind on bills or a mortgage.”

[Related: Government urges states to extend financial literacy program]

ASIC report highlights financial literacy progress
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