If there is one thing that has become a constant in our times, it is, paradoxically, change. We live in a world in permanent transformation, where transitions are becoming increasingly frequent and their consequences ever more immediate. This requires individuals to be constantly adaptable, demanding continuous learning and the acquisition of the necessary skills to operate in complex and changing environments. This is a reality that manifests itself in increasingly more areas of our lives, both professionally and personally or collectively. In some of them, we carry over training deficits from the past that need to be corrected. This is the situation with regard to financial education, not so much as a professional competence, but as a basic skill, essential when managing personal finances.
According to the OECD 2020 survey on financial literacy, more than half of the European population lacks knowledge of basic economic concepts. In Spain, the data also reveal large gaps that need to be addressed. For example, according to a 2021 study by the Family Savings Observatory (OAF - Observatorio del Ahorro Familiar) of Mutualidad Abogacía and Fundación IE, some 44% of families do not have basic economic and financial literacy; while 20% of Spaniards claim to have adequate financial knowledge, when the reality clearly refutes this. A recent report by EFPA Spain rated the financial literacy of Spaniards with an average score of 4.5 out of 10.
There are certainly a number of factors from the past that explain why we are in this situation today; but rather than looking back, it is important to focus on the present and to combine the efforts of public and private stakeholders in order to draw up a coordinated, ambitious and effective roadmap. Fortunately, we should commend some of the initiatives that already exist in our country to promote plans and programmes to improve the financial literacy of the population. Among these, the National Financial Education Plan of the Bank of Spain and CNMV. Within the framework of this plan, different training initiatives are promoted each year, such as, among others, those implemented by financial institutions or those that are more sector-specific in nature, such as the Funcas plan, which in its first three years has mobilised an investment of more than €12 million.
It is a collective responsibility to endeavour to make these initiatives more accessible, attractive and agile to help our population progress along the path of financial literacy. With this in mind, banking sector associations have launched a web platform that makes available to the public all the financial education training initiatives developed by the banking sector, including training actions in the field of digitalisation. In an increasingly technological and interconnected world, such actions are more necessary than ever. It is worth noting that the EU's target for 2030 is for 80% of adults to have basic digital skills, when currently 42% of Europeans lack them, according to the European Commission's Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).