articles | 29 December 2017

Central bank to conduct island-wide financial study

The Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) is conducting a nationwide survey to assess the island’s financial knowledge, with results expected to be announced within the first half of 2018, it emerged recently.

In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, the CBC’s director of economic analysis and research George Kyriacou said about 1,000 people between the ages of 18–79 would make up the final sample. 

So far, members of the public have been responsive and positive, and Kyriacou stressed that people with better financial knowledge have better chances of enjoying a higher standard of living. 

Lacking such knowledge is one of the main factors that could explain the income inequality found in developed economies, Kyriacou said. 

Citizens and consumers who are well informed in economics make better decisions with their family’s finances and increase their financial security and well being, he added. 

The CBC’s survey was prepared by academics from the Cyprus University of Technology (Tepak) in cooperation with the Durham University Business School and initial results will be ready in the first half of 2018. 

Commenting on the present situation on the island, Kyriacou said “older experiences from the stock market as well as Cypriots’ portfolio management before the 2013 crisis have highlighted the fact that a significant part of our country’s population does not seem to have adequate basic financial knowledge”.

He added that previous research on the matter also revealed similar results. In 2010, the Cyprus securities and exchange commission (Cysec) carried out a survey that found the public’s knowledge on matters relating to investments is very low. 

Tepak also recently tried to measure Cypriots financial literacy only to find that Cypriot students have a serious problem with the matter, Kyriacou added. 

The CBC’s survey, however, could reap some benefits for society as policies could be created based on the findings so as to reduce financial illiteracy. 

“The findings could also be used to create a national strategy to effectively combat financial illiteracy, through a targeted and collected effort involving other state institutions such as the education ministry, universities and Cysec,” Kyriacou told CNA.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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