Financial capability: why is it important and how can it be improved?

Shaun Mundy

This perspective piece is aimed at those with an interest in the development of national financial capability strategies and those who are developing or implementing financial capability programmes.

Many international bodies, politicians, central bankers and financial services regulators have called for action to be taken to help people to manage their personal finances better – that is, to help people to become more financially capable. Several countries have launched national strategies or programmes designed to achieve this. But what does it mean to be financially capable? What are the benefits? And what are the most effective ways of helping people to manage their personal finances better? This paper suggests answers to those questions. In doing so, it discusses initiatives being undertaken, both by international organisations and at a national level, to promote financial capability. And it makes a number of recommendations on the future development of financial capability strategies and programmes.