GIS – 25 November 2014: The Financial Services Commission, Mauritius (FSC) launched its Consumer Education Website yesterday at the FSC House in Ebène. This is a new initiative under its Consumer Education and Financial Literacy Programme.
The website was launched by the Chief Executive of the FSC Ms Clairette Ah-Hen, in the presence of industry stakeholders and representatives of civil society and secondary students who participated in the FSC’s previous Young Talent Competitions.
The dedicated consumer education website which can be accessed on www.protectyourfinance.com is targeted to current and potential consumers of financial services of all ages and income groups. It provides general guidance to help consumers make wise decisions about their finance, however it is not intended to provide legal or professional advice.
In her address Ms Ah-Hen, stated that the Commission believes in promoting initiatives that create an enabling environment to make the on-boarding process of all consumers of financial services and products simpler to ensure the soundness and stability of the financial system. Ms Ah-Hen explained that since the financial crisis, it has become important for consumers today to have a better understanding of key financial concepts to better understand and evaluate the choices available to them as well as to avoid frauds.
Given the complexity of today’s financial products, investor education requires a multitude of tools to be a successful and efficient undertaking. Those running the financial education programmes must also be innovative, dynamic, flexible and with tremendous staying power, she added. The Commission will continue to enhance the initiatives of informing consumers to make better financial decisions and will ensure that the FSC delivers on its objective of a better consumer protection, she concluded.
The occasion was also marked by the launch of the Financial Literacy Snake and Ladders Game – its concept has been customised to pass on key messages on financial terms, what to do and not to do in particular in respect of investment. The Commission, furthermore, issued its fourth poster on how to deal with Insurance Complaints as part of its series of consumer education posters in Kreol language.
The FSC has so far taken several consumer education initiatives in line with its mandate under Section 6 (f) of FSA 2007 to “promote public understanding of the financial system including awareness of the benefits and risks associated with different kinds of Investment”.
Major initiatives undertaken include the Consumer Education Road show in 2012, where the FSC ran informative sessions in different localities including Rodrigues, as well as, the ongoing Consumer Outreach Programme which targeted various segments of the population including senior citizens, women associations, civil servants, NGOs, local authorities. The main objective of the Consumer Outreach Programme is to explain the benefits and risks linked to investing in financial services and products.
To reach out to a wider audience, the FSC Mauritius has produced a series of Consumer Education Posters. The first in the series of posters was launched in December 2013 and focused on ‘how to protect yourself against financial scams’. Other posters have sensitised people on licensing and investing.
The posters were distributed in secondary schools, Community Centres, and displayed in public places and on the FSC website.The FSC Mauritius also launched the Promoting Financial Literacy and Young Talent (YTC) Competition in 2011 with the objective to promote the understanding of financial services amongst youth.YTC is now an annual event with two categories comprising an essay and a quiz competition to encourage students of Forms IV, V, Lower Six and Upper Six to gain more knowledge and conduct research in financial Services, while increasing their employability in the sector.