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G-8 Finance Ministers to Agree to Promote Financial Education

01.01.70

Tokyo, June 5 (Jiji Press)--Finance ministers from the Group of Eight major countries are set to agree on promoting financial education at their two-day meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, from Friday, Jiji Press learned Monday.
As financial products and services available to consumers are becoming more complicated and diversified, the G-8 finance ministers will stress the importance of raising the ability of individuals to understand the structures of the products and services and associated risks of losses so that they can choose the best products based on the principle of self-responsibility, informed sources said.
"The lack of financial literacy may also create favorable conditions for deceptive financial practices and unfair competition in financial markets," said a draft joint statement of the meeting, a copy of which was obtained by Jiji Press.
"Financially educated consumers are better able to protect themselves from fraud and abuse. Moreover, well-informed and educated financial consumers contribute to more efficient financial markets by encouraging the development of new products and services thus increasing competition, innovation and product quality," it said.
In the processes leading up to the coming meeting, the G-8 countries--Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States--have already agreed that financial education for adults is important, together with such education for school children from an early age, according to the sources.
They are expected to point out that the regulatory authorities should show financial institutions an ideal way of providing information.
The G-8 countries are slated to refer to financial education, as populations in the member countries are aging and there is an urgent need for individuals' asset formation and their asset management after retirement.
They have also judged financial education necessary in developing countries in order to nurture healthy financial markets, the sources said.
There is a plan to set up a framework for policy dialogue with emerging economies, and to provide knowhow and effective examples of financial education accumulated by international institutions, the sources said.

Expert opinion

Halter Marek

02.12.06

Halter Marek
Le College de France
Olivier Giscard dEstaing

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Olivier Giscard dEstaing
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Mika Ohbayashi

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Bill Pace

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Peter I. Hajnal

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Peter I. Hajnal
Toronto University, G8 Research Group