FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

What can we learn from Turkish Economy Bank's free financial literacy training?

Within the next three years, TEB will have reached 25% of Turkey's entire population.

As proved by researches done by International Network on Financial Education (INFE) established by OECD, there is significant correlation between financial literacy level and savings. According to the survey Türk Ekonomi Bankası (TEB) conducted in partnership with Boğaziçi University in 2013, Turkey’s financial literacy score is 59.8 meaning that it is below 62.3; the average of OECD countries.

Turkey ranks 7th among 15 countries with its positive financial attitude ratio of 61%. These researches demonstrate the low levels of savings in Turkey. Supported by a state economy policy since 2014; Turkey aims to increase the ratio of savings to gross domestic product to 17.8 percent by end-2018 from 15.6 percent in 2015, which would help lower the nation’s current-account gap.

TEB Financial Literacy Index, actually show that 44% of the Turkish nation does not plan a household budget and the 53% has not made an investment or any saving last year, in return having the household debt increase higher than household assets.

As a consequence, the need to educate the families on the appropriate use of banking products and on the importance for savings for the future has emerged. TEB was inspired by this urge and started “TEB Family Academy”; a free program for individuals aiming to increase the financial literacy of.

Among many initiatives, TEB calls the major part of our financial literacy program the TEB Family Academy which started back in October 2012 with a dream; to reach each and every person in the country, to make them aware of what finance at the individual level means; and to have them think of their future and how to improve their lives.

TEB’s financial literacy program, with its largest sub-program -TEB Family Academy is the leading corporate social responsibility program in Turkey. Through TEB’s experienced volunteer educators who mainly consist of branch managers, RMs and Head Quarter managers they provide free financial literacy trainings in all of their branches, as well as in out-of-branch settings such as in universities, government institutions andprivate sector corporations. TEB welcomes both TEB customers and non-customers in their trainings.

As of 2016, TEB has provided training more than 200,000 people face-to-face through one hour long trainings. In addition, through TEB’s partnership with UNICEF and Ministry of National Education (MONE) financial literacy has been integrated into fine arts and social classes of 11 million secondary school students.

Through their partnership with General Directorate of Lifelong Directorate under Ministry of National Education (MONE) TEB will train 5 million adults within three years. In short, TEB Family Academy is a major financial literacy initiative designed to address the decreasing household savings as well as to safeguard the futures of families in Turkey.

It has partners to widespread their efforts on financial literacy,who help them shape their policies and exercise their activities together like Financial Literacy and Inclusion Association (FODER), Boğaziçi University, UNICEF and Ministry of National Education (MONE).

Through their partnership with Boğaziçi University TEB conducted the first financial literacy and inclusion index of Turkey to raise awareness on the importance of financial literacy in Turkey and continues to do so since 2013. In partnership with Financial Literacy and Inclusion Association (FODER) TEB organizes Turkey’s first and foremost Financial Literacy and Inclusion Summit since 2013.

When giving free financial literacy trainings, it also partnered with a wide range of institutions including local and metropolitan municipalities, universities and corporations all over Turkey.

Also TEB’s partnership with the society’s driving unit, universities, enabled themto provide trainings where more than 5.500 university students received free financial literacy training of TEB Family Academy on campus just within one year in 2015. TEB partnered with General Directorate of Vocational and Technical Educationunder MONE, through which 1.6 Million high school students will receive free classes on financial literacy in the next years.

TEB also partnered with large corporations and integrated one hour TEB Family Academy trainings into their corporate curriculum. Since those companies already hold education programs, academies and trainings for their employees, TEB only took part in their organization with TEB Family Academy content and provided awareness on financial topics and saving’s importance on future to nearly 6.000 corporate employees.

TEB launched TEB Çocuk (TEB Children); a digital platform on financial literacy targeting children with www.tebcocuk.com, iPad application. Through in-class financial literacy trainings, app downloads and website visits TEB reached 1 Million children.TEB Çocuk aims to encourage to develop awareness on saving, to learn that not only money but also food, time, water and other resources must not be wasted.

In this context the importance of making savings of small amounts on a regular basis is stressed out and issues like developing a sense of discipline for economizing are focused; and to understand the difference between a need and a desire.

When reaching out to children, TEB not only went digital but also tangible. In 2014,TEB strengthened its relation and interaction with children by launching TEB Children’s Theatre to teach financial literacy through a free musical.

The first play of TEB Children’s theater “Rüzgar’s Piggybox” reached more than 30,000 children so far both with local staging and nation-wide Turkey tour where eight cities were visited. “Rüzgar’sPiggybox” is open to all children age 5 and above and their families for free. The play has been demonstrated in theatre halls as well as public and private schools nation-wide.

In conclusion, as TEB Family Academy, through educations where it reached 200,000 people in one hour trainings,TEB continues to provide free financial literacy educations to each and every single individual from all segments in society.

Within the next three years, TEB will have reached a total of around 20 million individuals which is around 25% of the whole population in Turkey and have touched their lives to improve their future.

TEB provides weekly tips and tricks from TEB Family Academy training content through all of its social media channels such as TEB’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. You can visit http://www.teb.com.tr/familyacademy/for more information and follow TEB on social media for tips and tricks.

Do you know more about this story? Contact us anonymously through this link.

Click here to learn about advertising, content sponsorship, events & rountables, custom media solutions, whitepaper writing, sales leads or eDM opportunities with us.

To get a media kit and information on advertising or sponsoring click here.