Citi-FT international forum in Beijing reflects critical need for financial literacy in turbulent times
12 November 2008
Fifth Financial Education Summit to be held in China, with an emphasis on reducing financial vulnerability
Beijing, China - November 12 - China will host the Citi-FT Financial Education Summit 2008 at the China World Hotel in Beijing on November 25-26. The fifth in a series of increasingly well-renowned Summits is expected to be a landmark gathering of financial education policy-makers, practitioners and advocates, bringing together representatives of government agencies, financial institutions, multilateral bodies, non-profit organisations, educational groups and private enterprise from China, Asia Pacific and beyond.
The 2008 Summit is organised by Citi, the Pearson Foundation and the Financial Times, and sponsored by the Citi Foundation, IFC, Clifford Chance, and the China Foundation for Development of Financial Education. With the theme Reducing Financial Vulnerability: Innovation and Impact, this event will be a unique platform to share experiences in developing, implementing and measuring some of the most progressive and effective financial education initiatives.
The conference program features keynote addresses from dignitaries, including Madam Wu Xiaoling, Vice Chairwoman, Financial and Economics Affairs Committee, National People’s Congress and Chairwoman of China Foundation for the Development of Financial Education.
Financial literacy is increasingly recognised as a life skill that is needed in every country and at all levels of society. Financial education can help to alleviate poverty, stimulate entrepreneurship, and boost wealth creation. It can also reduce the risks associated with consumerism, market speculation, and economic cycles.
The unfolding of the current global financial crisis highlights more than ever the critical role that financial literacy can and should play in wise decision-making, protecting limited assets and achieving financial well-being, especially for disadvantaged and low-income groups.
“We, at Citi, consider financial education as one of our highest priorities. Now more than ever, we see the importance and value of teaching people how to better understand their options related to spending, saving, borrowing and investing their money and therefore make more informed decisions. This is critical to ensuring that people, particularly those from more vulnerable groups, are protected in times of economic hardship.” said Stephen Bird, CEO, North Asia and Head, Consumer Banking and Global Cards, Citi Asia Pacific.
“The Financial Times is delighted to be partnering once more with Citi and the Pearson Foundation to organize this important conference,” said Dan Bogler, Managing Editor of the Financial Times. “Even more than before, advancing financial literacy is a vital ingredient towards helping guide people through volatile economic times by giving them the knowledge to build and protect their wealth. It is crucial that governments, private enterprise, non-profit groups and academia work together to produce results.”
The two-day conference will focus on showcasing the most innovative financial education programs currently being implemented, which support key segments such as youth, mainstream consumers, marginalised communities, and investors. In addition, day two of the Summit will highlight methodologies and tools for improved measurement and impact assessment in financial education and other life skills education.
Speakers will include representatives from: UN Millennium Campaign, Australian Securities Exchange, Operation HOPE, Hatton National Bank (Sri Lanka), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, National Bank of Poland, Tsinghua University (China), National Endowment for Financial Education (U.S.), Personal Finance Research Centre – University of Bristol (UK), WealthCoaches.Net (New Zealand), Enrich (Hong Kong), a+b=3 (Hong Kong), Qifang (China), Indian School of Business, National Chengchi University (Taiwan), aidha (Singapore), New America Foundation, Shakti Foundation for Disadvantaged Women (Bangladesh), BRAC UK, Microfinance Opportunities, Financial Industry Regulation Authority (U.S.), and the International Business Leaders Forum (Russia).
This is the fifth annual Financial Education Summit organized by Citi. The first Summit in Hong Kong in 2004 focused on financial education for women; the 2005 Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia addressed the financial education needs of families in Asia Pacific; the 2006 Summit in Seoul, Korea focused on youth; and last year’s Summit, in New Delhi, India examined the role of partnerships in reducing financial vulnerability for low income groups.
More information about the Citi-FT Financial Education Summit 2008 can be found at: www.FinancialEducationSummit.org
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Citi, the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Citi's major brand names include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Nikko. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.
The Citi Foundation is committed to enhancing economic opportunities for underserved individuals and families in the communities where we work throughout the world. Globally, the Citi Foundation is focusing its giving on Microfinance and Microentrepreneurship, which helps individuals become economically self-sufficient; Small and Growing Businesses, leading to economic expansion and job creation; Education, which prepares young people for personal and professional success; Financial Education, which helps individuals make informed financial decisions; and the Environment with a focus on sustainable enterprises that generate jobs and stimulate economic growth while preserving the environment. Additional information can be found at www.citigroupfoundation.com.
Citi Financial Education
Program Based on the belief that knowledge is your greatest asset, the Citi Financial Education Program is a global, company-wide effort to identify, support and implement initiatives that help give individuals, families and communities the tools needed to make sound financial decisions. Citi's ten-year, $200 million global commitment is focused in three areas: Personal, Small Business and Institutional Financial Education. Additional information about Citi Financial Education Program, including Citi Foundation guidelines, links and resources and the Citi Financial Education Program Curriculum and Facilitator's Guide may be found at http://financialeducation.citigroup.com.
About the Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson's commitment to education by partnering with leading non-profit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.
About the Financial Times
The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business newspapers, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing extensive news, comment and analysis, the newspaper is printed at 24 print sites across the globe, has a daily circulation of 417,570 (ABC figures, August 2008) and a readership of 1.4 million people worldwide. FT.com is the definitive home for business intelligence on the web, providing an essential source of news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community. FT.com attracts 7.1 million unique users, generating 72 million page views (ABCe figures, March 2008).
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