Czechs’ financial literacy far from stellar, says survey

Foto: Ondřej Šponiar, Pixabay / CC0

Czechs’ financial literacy improved since last year by only the very slightest of margins an annual survey commissioned by the Czech Banking Association has shown. According to the survey, they picked up 56 points out of a possible 100. The news isn’t all bad though: the number of Czechs setting aside savings has at least increased, Czech Radio confirmed.

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Financial literacy has been an issue for some time in the Czech Republic and a survey conducted by SC&C suggests it isn’t improving much. In the survey, 1,000 respondents who took part fared a single point better than the previous year. Past governments as well as the Education Ministry are well aware of the problem but improvement is slow in coming; the Czech Banking Association’s Helena Brychová told Czech Radio that many concrete questions stumped or proved difficult for Czechs queried, from peer-to-peer loans to deposit insurance.

One Czech bank recently launched a new online system aimed at helping clients improve their financial literacy, so that customers would also be able to differentiate between different types of investment.

One front where things have improved is that more Czechs are now saying that they are saving than before: three-quarters of Czechs are saving for rainy days, compared to 60 percent last year. The head of SC&C Jana Hamanová said that that in all likelihood the increasing in people putting aside funds reflected the improving economy and continual wage growth.

According to Hamanová, an alarming number of Czechs – one-third – aren’t able to appreciate how long it would be before they felt the bite if they lost their main source of income. She said based on their answers that many probably had too little or even no savings, without even taking into consideration loans or other debts that had to be paid back.

The survey also showed that half of respondents had no idea how much they had saved for old age.

Financial literacy has been taught at Czech high schools since 2009 and courses were added for elementary schools in 2013.