Monitoring the level of financial literacy in Europe (EU)

According to the results published in the latest Eurobarometer, which was requested by the European Commission and coordinated by the Directorate-General for Communication*, the importance of having citizens educated in financial matters to maintain the economic well-being of the Member States is clear.

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The combination of proper financial literacy, the application of the principles of Behavioral Finance and the improvement of the user experience can generate greater trust in the banking system, promote a responsible use of financial services and contribute to the economic well-being of both individual and national level.

The survey results show that only 18% of EU citizens have a high level of financial literacy, 64% a medium level, and the remaining 18% a low level. However, there are big differences between Member States. There are four countries that have 25% of citizens with high scores: the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Slovenia.

Achieving overall economic well-being is a priority for the European Union’s Commissioner for Financial Stability, Mairead McGuinness. To achieve this, it is necessary for fintech entities and startups to commit to this objective, launching innovative tools that democratize access to banking services and improve the financial health of the population.

 *Ipsos European Public Affairs interviewed a representative sample of citizens, aged 18 and over, in each of the 27 Member States of the European Union. Between 29 March and 5 April 2023, 26.139 interviews were conducted online. Check the press release here.

How would you rate your overall knowledge about financial matters compared to other adults?
Ipsos European Public Affairs

Eurobarometer key results

Only 52% of respondents rate their overall knowledge about financial matters as “average” when compared to other adults in their country. A quarter respond that their financial knowledge is “quite high” and 5% say it is “very high” compared to other adults. About nine in ten respondents across the European Union agree that, before they buy something, they consider whether they can afford it.

A similar proportion of respondents agree that they track and monitor their expenses. Seven in ten respondents agree that they set long-term financial goals and strive to achieve them. When it comes to digital services offered by banks, such as online banking or mobile payments, three quarters of participants across the EU say they feel comfortable using them.


Financial resilience and financial inclusion

Most common banking products of European citizens

Across the EU, 46% of respondents reply that they have non-life insurance, such as household insurance or motor insurance. 31% report having life insurance. About a quarter of respondents reply the same about an investment product and 22% regarding a private pension or retirement product.

One in five respondents say they have a mortgage or home loan and 14% say the same for a consumer loan. Regarding cryptocurrencies, only 6% respond that they have purchased some type of digital currency in the last two years.

Ipsos European Public Affairs

Here is more information on the current situation of fintechs in Europe and Spain.

Savings capacity and banking user profile

When asked how long they would be able to continue to cover their living expenses, without borrowing any money or moving house, in case they lost their main source of income, 33% of respondents reply this would be six months or more, followed by 18% who state this would be at least three months. The report reveals, however, a worrisome fact: 1 in 6 EU citizens does not have any type of emergency savings.

Unsurprisingly, the younger age group is less likely to own most of the financial products or services listed in the survey, with the exception of cryptocurrencies. People between 40 and 54 are, in general, the most likely to mention different financial products and services. For example, 29% of people aged 40 to 54 report having (or, in the last two years, having had) a mortgage or home loan, compared to 25% of people aged 25 to 39.

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Retirement expectations in Member States of Europe

Regarding their future situation, four in ten respondents across the EU feel “very confident” (9%) or “somewhat confident” (33%) that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years. The majority feeling, however, is one of no confidence: 32% of respondents reply feeling “not too confident” that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years and 22% feel “not at all confident”.

“This first ever EU survey on financial literacy is a wake-up call for us and Member States: together we need to do more to improve levels of financial literacy in the EU.”

Mairead McGuinness, Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union.

One last consideration on the European financial sector

As a tech company, our efforts are aimed at helping people improve their economic situation, whether with micro-savings modules, personal expense manager (PFM) tools or developments to automate bank accounts in order to achieve their highest potential.

Many entities are already using them successfully ,what are you waiting for to help your customers?

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