JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, says that the fallout that resulted from the collapse of unregulated financial schemes provides compelling evidence of the need to educate the investing population.
He was speaking at a literacy forum hosted by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, Wednesday (August 18).
Mr. Shaw said that financial literacy must take into consideration various financial products that are mushrooming, including some promising lucrative returns.
“I am told by the FSC (that) some of them are threatening to rear their ugly heads again, and they are providing and promising lucrative returns without providing the investor with a clear and unambiguous identification of either the risks that are involved, or the basis on which those earnings can be yielded,” he stated.
Furthermore, Mr. Shaw stressed, financial literacy must also focus on financial institutions which, he said, “short change customers by keeping interest rates on savings depressed, while maintaining exorbitantly high borrowing rates, even while monetary policy on the market continue to indicate otherwise.
“That is something that cannot continue,” the Minister warned.
He insisted that commercial banks must join in bringing down interest rates, noting that the overall investment community is playing its part, with the Central Bank and the government also making its input in “fighting the inflation tiger”.
“So don’t come to me with the inflation argument, that you need that as a differential,” he stated.
The FSC organised the forum, in collaboration with the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre, to engage financial education stakeholders in dialogue, particularly in building consensus among public sector bodies, non-governmental organsations, learning institutions, financial service providers and financial literacy practitioners.
The Commission is spearheading the development of strategies towards implementing a National Financial Literacy Programme (NFLP), to empower Jamaicans with the financial knowledge necessary to create household budgets, initiate savings plans, properly manage debt and make sound investment decisions.

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