Johannesburg – November 23, 2016. FinMark Trust, the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) recently launched the results of a financial literacy baseline survey, the first of which was conducted in Seychelles in the Mahé, Praslin and La Digue regions. The results of the survey were officially presented at a recently held stakeholder workshop by FinMark Trust, who conducted the survey,
The survey was based on a nationally representative sample of 562 adults who are 18 years and older. The sample was weighted to represent the 70 822 adults across the republic using the National Bureau of Statistics Seychelles Population projections for 2016.
The baseline study measured the level of financial literacy amongst the adult population and provided an assessment of the needs of the population including the identification of possible target groups and the main issues to be dealt with in future financial education interventions. The findings of the survey were intended to help relevant authorities and stakeholders to better understand the financial literacy levels of Seychellois adults. The survey focused on various indicators, including access to financial products and services, awareness and knowledge of financial products and services, as well as attitudes and behaviour towards financial matters. The information collected also provided a baseline against which changes in the level of financial literacy could be assessed over time on a national level. The information gathered in the survey and the results will be used to assist in the development of a national strategy on financial education.
Highlights from the Survey
Levels of financial capability – Financial capability encompasses the knowledge, attitudes, skills and especially behaviour of individuals; with respect to understanding, selecting and applying financial concepts and tools; and the ability to access financial services that fit their needs. The study found that approximately 42% of Seychellois adults exhibited low financial capability, 34% exhibited moderate financial capability while 24% showed high financial capability.
The study found that, approximately87% of Seychellois adults have reported that they would like to improve their financial situation – however 46% indicated that they do not have a plan of what to do. Around 40% of adults claimed to sometimes (or more often) run out of money for basic necessities. Although 47% of adults have reported to keep written plans of how they plan on spending their money, only 30% regularly keep these written plans. The study showed that 52% of adults reported a lack of understanding of terms and conditions in contracts when choosing and using financial products.
Uptake of financial services and products – The survey focused on a range of available financial services and products in Seychelles ranging from credit, savings, banking services to insurance.
- Banked – In total, 96% of all adults have a bank account. A further one in six adults reported to withdraw all their money as soon as it is deposited.
- Credit: A total of 75% of adults claim to have borrowed/credit from any source. About 54% have reported not being able to calculate interest on a loan. With regards to suretyships and guarantors, 24% of adults do not seem to understand the implications of guaranteeing someone else’s loan should they default.
- Savings and investments – Generally, there is a savings culture amongst the Seychellois adults. However, for the majority (66%) of those that save at the bank, they consider savings as short-term (less than six months). A further 35% do not mind being in debt as long as they have what they need. About 31% of those who save, are saving for an emergency other than medical, while 25% save for living expenses.
- Remittances channels – Sending money to someone outside the household is an activity done by 23% of all adults. The most preferred channel is the bank service. Mobile money services are still new to Seychelles as only 5% claim to be registered mobile money users.
- Insurance and risk mitigation – Insurance is meant to cushion adults from shocks and unexpected incidents such as accident, injury or loss of property. However, only 53% of adults in 2016 have insurable cover. There is generally good awareness of insurance products across the board but that does not translate into uptake. Of those without insurance, 69% reported not understanding the benefits of insurance.
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About FinMark Trust
FinMark Trust (FMT) is an independent trust established in 2002 with the objective of making markets work for the poor. Initial core funding was provided by UKaid from the Department for International Development (DFID) through its Southern Africa office. Recently additional funders have come on board including the UNCDF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the MasterCard Foundation as well as private and public institutions at country level. FinMark Trust’s purpose is ‘Making financial markets work for the poor, by promoting financial inclusion and regional financial integration’. FinMark Trust does this by conducting research to identify the systemic constraints that prevent financial markets from reaching out to these consumers and by advocating for change on the basis of research findings. Please visit www.finmark.org.za for more information.