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Consumer education

Eurofinas believes that appropriate consumer information must be complemented with appropriate consumer education and empowerment.

Eurofinas strongly supports initiatives that aim at improving consumer education (such as financial education) and so decided to develop an E-publication to demonstrate the initatives taken by the consumer credit industry to empower borrowers. The E-publication, now in its second edition, is the result of extensive collaboration between Eurofinas, its member associations, consumer credit providers and credit bureaux. It offers a unique overview of Financial Education initiatives launched by the consumer credit industry across Europe.

e-publication coverTo request further information please contact Eurofinas Legal Adviser Anke Delava. To download the E-publication, please click here.

Visitors will also find on this page, information on existing financial education initiatives. In case you know of other relevant and worthy initiatives, please inform Anke Delava so that we can update the list below.

The View from Europe

Like Eurofinas, the European Institutions view financial education as an important issue. At the end of 2008, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on a report drafted by Bulgarian MEP Illiana Malinova Iotova. The report focuses on the importance of financial education for consumers.

The European Commission is also active in the field of financial education. It is being studied by DG Internal Market, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and DG Health and Consumers. In the context of the recent financial turmoil, financial education is seen as an opportunity to empower consumers, prevent their over indebtedness, contribute to economic well-being and to promote responsible lending.

Financial Education Initiatives

- DOLCETA, an on-line education tool, supported by the European Commission, to help teachers incorporate financial matters into the school curriculum.

- European Database for Financial Education, a database developed by the European Commission to disseminate information on the wide range of financial education programmes available across the EU.

- EUROPA DIARY, an educational tool that provides practical tips on becoming healthier, safer and more assertive as a consumer.

- Keeping tabs on your money, advice and tips on personal finance by the Konsumentverket, the Swedish Consumer Agency.

- CentiQ, the Netherlands' online educational platform that provides information, help tools and dedicated programmes for you to know all about financial services.

Consumer rights and dispute resolution schemes

Eurofinas is also supportive of alternative dispute resolution schemes and self-regulation efforts. Too few consumers know about their rights. Hopefully the lists of alternative dispute resolution schemes and code of best practice mentioned below will help remedy this situation.

In case you know of other relevant dispute resolution schemes or industry codes of best practice, please inform Alexandre Giraud so that we can update the list below.

Alternative dispute resolution schemes

- FIN-NET, a financial dispute resolution network of national out-of-court complaint schemes in the EEA that are responsible for handling disputes between consumers and financial services providers.

- Allmänna reklamationsnämnden, the Swedish national board for consumer complaints tasked with settling disputes between consumers and business operators.

- Kifid, the Dutch institute for consumers complaints in the field of financial services.

Industry codes of best practice

- Belgium's rules of conduct related to consumer credit (BVK-UPC)

- Czech Republic's ethical code of conduct (CLFA)

- Denmark's code of good practice (Finans og Leasing)

- Finnish Financial Services Federation's (FKL) principles of good banking practice

- Germany's code of responsible lending (Bankenfachverband)

- Italy's Consumer Finance Association (ASSOFIN) code

- Lithuanian ethical code (LVLKA)

- Netherlands' code of good practice (VFN)

- Poland's principles of good practice (KPF)

- Portugal's code of conduct (ASFAC)

- Sweden's ethical guidelines for good conduct

- UK's Finance and Leasing Association code