Absa Group said yesterday it has invested R30 million in the past five years on providing free financial education through its national financial literacy program in what the group tagged as contribution to address South Africa’s high levels of indebtedness and lack of savings.
The literacy program has already reached nearly half a million employees from a number of South African organisations, across all income levels.
Now in its fifth year, the Absa Financial Education Programme continues to enable employees to make informed financial decisions relating to their personal money management, accumulation of assets, debt management and providing for their retirement.
Using various learning methodologies supported by a national team of permanent Absa Financial Education Officers, the programme boasts an effective, high quality on-site learning experience.
Arrie Rautenbach, Absa’s Head of Retail Markets, said financial literacy was important in today’s tough economic environment. “According to a student’s study conducted through the Gordon Institute of Business on the relationship between financial literacy and economic measures, individuals who have received financial education have a higher savings rate and are better equipped to make informed financial decisions.”
“We must remember that employees dealing with personal financial stress cause a pattern of problems in the workplace including decreased ability to concentrate, increased absenteeism and the risk of fraud and/or theft that can negatively affect individuals and employers on various levels.”
“It is for this reason that financial literacy is crucial to ensure societal stability and a healthy economy,” he says.
“Our Financial Education drive is part of our Citizenship agenda which is entrenched in the core of our business. As a responsible organisation, we have a clear sense of our business purpose – to help individuals, communities, businesses and the economy progress and grow,” concludes Rautenbach.