Financial literacy strategy 'in the pipeline'

Martina Borg | Malta Today

Finance minister Edward Scicluna says a financial literacy strategy is necessary and in demand.

There is a huge demand for financial information and knowledge from those who wish to invest their money for their retirement, from people who are already investors, from students and now also from members of the press, finance minister Edward Scicluna, told a seminar organised by the Tumas Fenech Foundation for Education in Journalism.

The seminar entitled ‘The Media’s Involvement in the Financial Services Industry’ held earlier today at the MFSA, presented a number of speeches and presentations as well as a panel discussion on media involvement in the financial sector.

"More financial literacy will help investors see the whole picture and avoid being mislead or abused," Scicluna said.

"Unfortunately, there have been cases of people who lost their lifelong savings after having been convinced to invest in fraudulent products and as a result of a lack of knowledge," he said adding that the Ministers for Social Policy, Education and Finance are in discussion to co-ordinate a national financial literacy strategy to address the needs of various groups ranging from pensioners to journalists.

Scicluna also referred to the package of measures that the European Commission is expected to present on the 27th January as part of its effort to prevent tax avoidance by multinationals, and said Malta’s financial services sector has various resources, so it doesn’t have to fear change as it is well prepared for it.

“Malta boasts of a nucleus of expertise and specialised human resources that allow it to stay ahead,” he said.

“Every regulation creates a challenge, but also an opportunity. We cannot bury our head in the sand. There are those who want to resist change and retain everything as it is, but that is not an option now. We have to address the issue, discuss, engage, and compromise in order to retain our competitive advantage.”