Global Money Week
KB is the Main Partner of the Global Money Week international project. Its purpose is to promote financial literacy and raise awareness of financial well-being across generations. Business owners, schools, family centres, libraries, and individuals joined last year’s edition under the title Learn. Save. Earn. Lectures, workshops, discussions, and interactive debates with experts were organised across the country to promote the financial education of children and young people. The GMW target groups included pupils, students, teachers, and expert circles, as well as the public and groups at risk of excessive debt and socially excluded groups. In all, 169 countries and more than 53,000 organisations joined the financial literacy week in 2019. Some 17,000 children and teenagers joined the event in the Czech Republic, and gained the knowledge required for prudent money management.
Bankers to Schools
In 2019, we again joined the Czech Banking Association’s Bankers to Schools project under way since 2014. The project promotes bankers’ meetings in person with pupils and students of primary and secondary schools, where the young people have an opportunity to discuss with the bankers the basics of financial literacy and also safe navigation in the online world. The sixth edition of the project met with a record interest on the part of both the schools and the speakers: the largest ever number of bankers went to schools in all 14 Czech regions. In 2019, more than 100 bankers from several banks joined the project; they visited 83 schools and delivered 138 lectures, thereby training 5,052 pupils and students of primary and secondary schools.
Open Bank – Seniors in Branches
In cooperation with the Financial Distress Advisory Centre, we organised new educational meetings with elderly citizens in November 2019. The meetings helped the seniors to better find their way around the modern financial world. The main purpose of these meetings was opening informal dialogues with elderly people, which would help to improve their understanding of the world of finance and enhance their confidence in banks. The first part of the events focused on the opportunities and pitfalls of the new services offered by the banking sector. Discussion on the right way to compare the offers on the market followed. There was also considerable demand for the second part of the programme, with discussions focusing on the risks lurking in offers flowing from the internet, telephone, and television.
The spring of 2020 saw the emergence of a new initiative, Open Bank, following up on Seniors in Branches. Its objective is to improve people’s information on finance and banking and to help them in various situations. The initiative offers issues for debate to all who are interested, regardless of their age or whether or not they are our clients. Open Bank is open for all.
Open Bank provides the public with descriptions of the digitalisation of banking and new banking services, such as online and mobile banking. It provides basic information about the way and tools to enter the online world for the people who are only learning about modern technology. Active use of modern technology requires responsible behaviour, and Open Bank therefore offers information on how to use it securely. In cooperation with the Financial Distress Advisory Centre, Open Bank pays attention to the steps you should take if you feel that you are getting into financial distress.
Financial Distress Advisory Centre
We sponsored the operation of the Financial Distress Advisory Centre non-profit organisation again in 2019, when the Centre handled 15,120 consultation calls, forwarded 5,677 calls to a free advisory line, and organised 50 preventive training events. Debtors primarily wanted to receive information on the new Insolvency Act and its provisions on debt discharge. The second most frequent issue was enforcement proceedings. Many debtors responded positively to the possibility of debt discharge, although their personal circumstances prevented them from entering into the discharge process (their income was too low versus their accumulated debts).