Slavko Carić, President of Executive Board of Erste Bank – Financial health is Essential for the Progress of the Entire Society

Erste Bank will continue to work with the same passion and commitment on different programs for all generations

Erste Group is one of the founders of the UN initiative dedicated to promoting universal financial inclusion and the banking sector that supports financial health of its customers. This commitment means that we will further reinforce the concept of financial health in dealing with our customers. Financial literacy contributes to the financial health of the entire society, economic growth and a lower risk of poverty, as well as social inclusion and stability. We have recognised this topic not only as important, but also as a major challenge to today’s society, as well as our responsibility and duty. Namely, those who do not have access to financial instruments and education are often excluded from economic and social life.

Slavko Carić, President of Executive Board of Erste Bank (Photo: Monika Pavlović)

In order to raise this topic in the public forum, so that it would receive more attention, but also strategically find an adequate place in the primary education of the youngest, as well as in order to raise awareness of and inform the general public that it is never too late to master it and it should be free of charge, we launched the financial education programme ErsteZnali three years ago.

This programme is designed to improve financial literacy based on its content provided in various forms and through different communication channels of our Bank, thus empowering individuals to make informed and better financial decisions, which most directly affect the economic and social status of each individual.

Erste Bank continued to spread financial knowledge beyond the digital world

The first and very significant activity, one of many under the programme, is the #ErsteZnali online interactive financial education platform. It is intended for a very wide audience and is designed as an information base with educational texts, practical and applicable tips, as well as an entertaining platform with quizzes and fun facts on the subject of finance. The platform was just the first step. In the coming period, Erste Bank continued to spread financial knowledge beyond the digital world – through financial literacy workshops, educational content for young people and children, as well as numerous other activities.

Last April, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, agreeing on the support to the preparation of a programme for financial education of primary school pupils through the Money School for Pupils project. More than 100 teachers have already completed their training and will, based on the syllabus prepared for three age groups by the technical working group under the Institute for Education Improvement, bring the world of finance closer to their pupils in the course of formal education as well. We have, in this manner, joined the major initiative to improve education and introduce innovative tools in education.

Late last year, we presented the first online educational game Guardians of Dragon’s Treasure. The motive for creating the video game was to present to children in a fun and relatable manner financial concepts and help them build a responsible attitude towards money and spending. If we wish future generations to be more successful than us and manage better in the financial world, we must provide them with all the support and find a way to bring this topic closer to them in a manner to which they can relate. Imagine what a major step it is for a bank to make the first modern mobile financial education game.

This year, we launched a round of educational workshops titled Women Who Believe in Themselves, dedicated to women entrepreneurs and all women who wish to become one. Our aim is to enable women to develop their entrepreneurial skills, enhance their business and improve its sustainability and competitiveness. These workshops also rely on the broad base of our knowledge and experience developed through the social banking programme Step by Step, designed for beginners in business and recognisable by its unique blend of financial support and mentoring.

We will continue to work with the same passion and commitment on different programs for all generations, because we firmly believe that financial health is essential for the prosperity of our society.

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