ZAGREB, February 14, 2018 – Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Wednesday that Croatia was above the global average in financial literacy but that there was a lot of room for progress given that more than half of citizens could not be defined as financially literate.
Marić said the steps forward were visible as the government had raised awareness, through fiscal and budgetary polices, of the importance of balancing revenues and expenditures, adding that similar principles could be applied to the corporate system and every individual. He was speaking at a forum at which the “Finances for Everyone” project and a survey conducted as part of it were presented.
Marić said financial literacy should be used not only to reduce negative risks, such as the global financial crisis or loans pegged to the Swiss franc, but also to increase positive risks by educating citizens to better manage their finances.
He said the was no general approach to informing citizens about the second pension pillar, pension savings and contributions, and that more than 90% young people starting work did not choose a pension plan but had it randomly selected. “This only shows that here too the level of financial literacy and information is quite low.”
A survey by the Hanfa regulator and the central bank shows that 44% of Croatian citizens are financially literate, which is above the global average, but also that 56%, regardless of their illiteracy, make financial decisions and use financial services on a daily basis.
The survey also shows that the youngest and the oldest are the least financially literate.