The NFLP is an outreach arm of the Central Bank whose primary function is spreading financial management and financial awareness to its core target audience - members of the public. The message of the NFLP is transmitted in several ways, ranging from group presentations to the production of articles and other forms of public education material.
‘A combination of awareness, knowledge, skill, attitude and behaviour necessary to make sound financial decisions and ultimately achieve individual financial wellbeing.’- Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) International Network on Financial Education (INFE)
The National Financial Literacy Programme (NFLP) aims to produce more financially informed individuals who have the skills and knowledge needed to make sensible decisions with their money.
Financially literate individuals can:
• Take responsibility for their financial affairs;
• Make ends meet and avoid incurring unnecessary personal debt;
• Plan ahead for short, medium and long term goals, including retirement;
• Adopt and emulate beliefs and attitudes towards money;
• Exhibit responsible consumer behaviour.
The NFLP has the following objectives:
• Providing individuals with knowledge that would assist them in making better financial decisions.
• Imbuing persons with a basic understanding of banking and finance, in particular, the essential features of the various products that they are likely to access.
• Giving individuals the skills and confidence to function in an increasingly sophisticated financial environment.
• Creating in the minds of individuals an awareness of developments within the financial environment and the ability to take advantage of opportunities which may present themselves, for example, making the best of business opportunities.
• Teaching individuals and families to apply personal financial management techniques in keeping with their personal circumstances. This in order to eliminate and prevent excessive personal debt accumulation, thereby promoting financial freedom.
• Encouraging persons to plan ahead, ultimately increasing the individual’s financial preparedness during their work life and retirement.
The NFLP has been charged with responsibility of fostering financial literacy throughout the national community. The department recognized that in order to execute its national mandate it had to segment the population into sectors as follows:
BACKGROUND OF THE NFLP
From the mid-1990s through to 2009, Trinidad and Tobago enjoyed rapid economic growth on the strength of high energy prices and expanding capacity in the energy sector.
The steady increases in employment and personal incomes were accompanied by sharp increases in private consumption and rising consumer debt.
Additionally, personal savings were relatively low, with many persons proving to be ill prepared for retirement.
Alarmed by the observed trend, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago mandated the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago to spearhead the operation of a unit responsible for guiding and advising individuals on making sensible financial decisions. The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago was deemed particularly well positioned in executing such as task due to its credibility in providing unbiased, impartial and accurate information to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
The National Financial Literacy Programme was thus officially launched on 31st January, 2007.
The sessions conducted by the NFLP are flexible and address societal needs and concerns of a financial nature. A range of financial concepts and topics are addressed in our sessions:
• Retirement Planning
• Risk & Credit Card Management
• Financial Attitude Adjusting
• Financial Fraud
• Mortgages & Home Ownership
• Debt Management
• Financial Products