New campaign to help the financially distressed
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WHILE Covid-19 has left many South Africans in financial distress, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is launching a nationwide financial education campaign, FSCAMyMoney, to provide young South Africans from all walks of life with information that will not only improve their financial acumen, but also help them become money savvy.
FSCA was established by the Financial Sector Regulation Act 9 of 2017 (the FSR Act), to become a dedicated market conduct authority, replacing the Financial Services Board (FSB) on April 1, 2018.
FSCA’s mandate is to enhance the efficiency and integrity of financial markets, promote fair customer treatment by financial institutions, provide financial education and promote financial literacy and assist in maintaining financial stability.
The aim of the campaign is to provide free financial education to South African consumers in order to promote financial literacy and ensure consumers are making informed decisions when buying financial products and services. This is done to bridge the gap between what consumers want and need, and what service providers offer.
Angie Cloete is a young business owner who runs an online thrift store and also designs her own clothing, and with the pandemic affecting her business, Cloete said understanding financial literacy helps her prioritize accordingly.
“Because my business is still small and new, being financially-savvy is really important during these times because everything is so uncertain. With markets closed and having to rely on online purchases, my sales have not been the same. Markets really helped in terms of getting customers to feel the material and try it on, but with Covid-19 in place, I make more losses than gains.”
“What I’ve learned so far though from just being financiall-savvy is that prioritising is important. I constantly have to put money back into my business account because maybe I might need fabric or threads etc, and this requires money. So the little I make I have to be smart with it and see what is urgently needed in order for my business to run smoothly,” said Cloete.
Head of Department for Consumer Education Lyndwill Clarke said that the campaign provides easily understandable and relevant financial educational tips such as learning about rights and responsibilities as a consumer when dealing with financial service providers, what to look for in an accredited financial adviser, how to budget and how to save.
“Consumers will also learn why it is best to start planning and saving for retirement early, how to safeguard their money by not investing in scams, what is cryptocurrency and how to work with their money so that they get the best service and interest possible.”
“To ensure that financial education is seen and heard by as many consumers as possible, the campaign will roll out throughout South Africa through newspapers and radio adverts, an SMS and online digital communication campaign as well as interviews with senior FSCA staff. The FSCAMyMoney campaign will run for the remainder of June and throughout July this year,” said Clarke.
With the FSCAMyMoney campaign, consumers will get an opportunity to engage directly with the FSCA and ask questions so that they can safeguard their money by not investing in scams, cryptocurrency and learn how to work with their money so that they can get the best service and interest possible during these times.