The National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2021-2026 sets out a bold vision: A Canada where everyone can build financial resilience in an increasingly digital world.
A Canada where individuals and families are able to react and adapt to the financial uncertainties, vulnerabilities and changes that occur throughout life. A Canada where all citizens benefit from a financial ecosystem that is accessible, inclusive and efficient.
What is the National Strategy?
The mandate of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is to protect Canadian consumers of financial products and services and to increase their financial literacy. The National Strategy for Financial Literacy (the National Strategy) goes a long way towards achieving our mandate.
The National Strategy is a five-year plan to create a more accessible, inclusive and efficient financial ecosystem that supports diverse Canadians in meaningful ways. The National Strategy focuses on how financial literacy stakeholders can reduce barriers, catalyze action, and work together, so we can collectively help Canadians build financial resilience
Why is this important?
We live in a time of great change. Canadians face an increasingly complex and digital financial marketplace. The global pandemic has amplified economic challenges and inequalities for many people. This historic event also highlighted the fact that financial vulnerability can affect anyone, regardless of income, background or level of education.
In this context, the goal of the National Strategy is to help Canadians build their financial resilience, so they can confidently make financial decisions in difficult times and in a digital economy.
Financial resilience is the ability to adapt or persevere in the face of life’s predictable and unpredictable financial choices, challenges, and shocks. Building financial resilience does not rest solely on the shoulders of the consumer, but rather is the product of individual actions and systemic facilitation.
Just as the Canadian financial sector has proven to be financially resilient, Canadians must also be financially resilient. A healthy and prosperous economy depends on both our institutions and our people.
How will we get there?
To increase their financial resilience, Canadians need a financial ecosystem that works for them. Improving the financial resilience of Canadians is a shared responsibility, and all stakeholders have a role to play. The National Strategy is a roadmap designed to help stakeholders support this ambition and to unite our common efforts. The National Strategy emphasizes the following points:
Improving the financial ecosystem for Canadians .
The National Strategy sets out 6 priorities that will reduce barriers and catalyze action so that consumers can learn the skills, capabilities and behaviors needed to increase their financial resilience.
Reduce barriers . The National Strategy establishes a framework through which stakeholders can reduce barriers within the ecosystem that prevent people from accessing, understanding and using appropriate financial products, services and information to their advantage, or their efforts in this regard. The Strategy identifies 3 ways to reduce barriers for consumers of financial products and services:
Priority 1: communicate in a way that people understand;
Priority 2: design to meet different needs;
Priority 3: Foster increased digital access and better digital literacy.
Catalyze actions . The National Strategy establishes a framework through which stakeholders can improve the ability of Canadians to take positive financial action, and which helps to address biases and misunderstandings about how best to help those in difficulty. financial. It defines 3 priorities that catalyze actions for consumers:
Priority 4: Improve access to reliable and affordable financial assistance;
Priority 5: Leverage behavioral design to simplify financial decisions;
Priority 6: strengthen consumer protection measures.
Improving the skills, abilities and behaviors of Canadians .
In addition to making improvements to the ecosystem, the National Strategy highlights 5 key areas that stakeholders can work with Canadians to improve their financial resilience.
The following key elements of money management have been shown to help consumers develop the skills, abilities and behaviors that enable them to achieve financial resilience, and are relevant to all members company, regardless of income, personal background or circumstances:
the skills to navigate the financial market;
building confidence and financial literacy in a timely manner;
The foundation: the importance of research and collaboration
The National Strategy is based on an evidence-based approach and solid research. This approach will help stakeholders advance the Strategy in a measurable and results-oriented way, and help consumers develop the skills, capabilities and behaviors that will enable them to achieve financial resilience.
The National Strategy also emphasizes collaboration among all ecosystem stakeholders. Partnerships and cooperation, as well as increased investment in initiatives that work, are essential to achieving results.
The next steps
We will continue to engage stakeholders to identify initiatives and programs that will advance the goals of the National Strategy. Over the coming months, we will establish and publish measures of progress for each of the ecosystem priority target outcomes and for each of the key consumer elements set out in the Strategy. In addition, we will periodically report on our progress against these measures and indicate if any adjustments to the National Strategy should be made.