June 13-14, 2013 - G20 Conference

Empower Consumers of Financial Products and Services through Improved Financial Literacy/Capability and Effective Consumer Protection Systems

The Conference "Empowering Consumers of Financial Products and Services through Improved Financial Literacy and Effective Consumer Protection Systems" organized under Russia's G20 Presidency with the support of the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was held on June 13-14, 2013 in Moscow.

The meeting was attended by Russian G20 Sherpa and Chief of the Presidential Experts' Directorate Ksenia Yudaeva, Deputy Finance Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Storchak, Head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare of Russia Gennady Onishchenko, and World Bank's Country Director for Russia Michal Rutkowski.

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), Honorary Patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) welcomed the participants of the conference. In her address she thanked Russia, the World Bank and the OECD for the great opportunity to exchange best practice in this area, stressing that the rates at which financial services and effective consumer rights' protection are expanding are of enormous significance for the development of the modern market economy and play a key role in ensuring financial stability and economic growth and development. "It is encouraging that 35 countries already have financial education strategies in place," said HM Queen Maxima, "and we ought to continue working on this".

In his remarks, Deputy Minister of Finance Sergei Storchak noted that, according to the UN, over one-third of the world's population still has no access to basic financial services that are required for buying life and health insurance, making savings for children's education, and raising capital to start a business.

"Russia is no exception. Therefore, as part of our G20 Presidency, we came up with a system-wide approach that combines the increased availability of financial services, better consumer protection and greater financial literacy," Mr. Storchak said. Notably, the goal is to create hands-on tools that have been designed in collaboration with the World Bank and the OECD as part of the Russia Financial Literacy and Education Trust Fund. They help to improve the protection of consumers' rights, enhance the availability and the quality of financial services, and provide consumers with an opportunity to learn basic financial skills.

According to Ksenia Yudaeva, the Russian Sherpa in the G20 and Chief of the Presidential Experts Directorate, Russia chose to discuss financial education, consumer protection and expanded access to financial services as priority discussion topics for the period of its presidency.

Read more on http://en.g20.ria.ru/news/20130614/781440577.html