Our main Group-wide sustainability initiative is the promotion of financial literacy, particularly in markets where consumer finance and retail banking are relatively new concepts.
Educating our customers and the communities in which we operate is the foundation of our sustainability programme. We can draw on years of experience in implementing community outreach programmes and workshops as we continue to enter new markets and spread financial inclusion. Our primary areas of focus are:
- Educating people about the credit market and promoting responsible lending and borrowing practices
- Teaching communities the basic principles of money management and household budgeting
- Spreading financial education for children and students, raising them to become responsible adults
Our financial education efforts began in Europe and have since been rolled out in various forms in our Asian markets. The financial literacy programmes are all based on the principle of responsibility but have been modified to fit the needs of the communities in the respective countries. As a result these initiatives take many forms, including country-wide roadshows, workshops, in-branch open days, various brochures and publications, competitions and campaigns in the media, and in-store events as well as public teach-ins in supermarkets, shopping malls and communities. Our consumer websites are an integral part of this open communication with current and potential customers.
We include all members of the community, young and old – students, farmers, migrant workers, stay-at-home housewives – in our efforts to ensure that they understand the general concepts of all the different types of credit on offer and how these can help them.