The majority (63%) of young people ages 15–24 admit that they don’t know much about financial products

MONTREAL, Oct. 23, 2023 /CNW/ – This year’s Financial Literacy Month coincides with a time of heightened economic uncertainty where recession is looming, inflation is sticky and the debt-to-income ratio is still very high. What’s more troubling are the latest survey results from Desjardins. They paint a grim picture of financial literacy among certain groups of people. The organization reports that 70% of its members across the country feel they have a sufficient level of financial literacy, while this drops to 60% for members ages 18–30. The upside is 90% of the young people surveyed say they want to improve their knowledge and become more financially empowered.

“It’s a really tough climate, especially for young people. They’re exposed to many new financial experiences in a short period of time. Financial Literacy Month is the perfect time to remind Canadians about the importance of education and support so they can better understand how their choices affect their finances. That’s why we’ve developed Unforeseen: The decision-making game as a fun way to introduce young people to financial decision-making,” explains Isabelle Garon, Executive Vice-President of Marketing, Communications, Cooperation and President’s Office at Desjardins.

Unforeseen was specifically designed for young people ages 16 to 25. The game is the latest addition to Desjardins’s toolbox for anyone who wants to improve their financial literacy. Now available in the App Store and on Google Play, the simulation game takes place in a fictional world where players can learn and experiment with key financial concepts they can apply to their own lives. Desjardins partnered with Montreal game studio Borealys Games to create the app. It’s a perfect combination of the studio’s expertise in video game design and the organization’s credibility when it comes to financial education.

“By introducing a tool like Unforeseen, our organization is demonstrating our ongoing commitment to providing new educational solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of each client group. The game is an exciting way for young people to learn. At Desjardins, we’re always working to customize our solutions in a way that best empowers members and clients to make their own financial choices,” adds Garon.

Personal Finance: I’m in Charge marks its 10th year

Desjardins has another reason to showcase its efforts this Financial Literacy Month. The Personal Finance: I’m in Charge® program has passed a major milestone, celebrating 10 years of teaching people about managing their finances. Launched in 2013, the program offers various training modules delivered by over 400 accredited instructors. The goal is to teach young people how to manage their finances effectively by covering topics such as budgeting, credit, savings, debt, spending, first jobs, taxes, insurance, investment and digital security.

Personal Finance: I’m in Charge has become increasingly successful over the years, with a record 86,700 registrations in 2019. Since its launch, the program has attracted over 540,200 participants and 100,000 more are expected in 2023. Young people ages 16 and 17 seem to have gotten the most out of Personal Finance: I’m in Charge as they represent 61% of participants. Desjardins is leading the way in financial education with this initiative, and it would not be successful without the 114 community and school organizations, including five CEGEPs, that deliver the program to young people across Quebec and Ontario.

Financial empowerment is now part of Desjardins’s mission statement. By helping members and clients feel more financially empowered, Desjardins is remaining true to its cooperative nature by cultivating one of the values it was founded on. Unforeseen and Personal Finance: I’m in Charge are just 2 examples of this commitment. The organization also offers a wide variety of initiatives and programs tailored to the diverse populations it serves, including School Caisse, The Project Factory, In Charge of Your Life and Your Property, Desjardins Mutual Assistance Fund, Desjardins Microcredit to Businesses, Créavenir, a finance toolbox, and many educational podcasts, social media posts, webinars for young investors and newcomers, and conferences by its chief economist.

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in North America and the fifth largest in the world, with assets of $409.6 billion as at June 30, 2023. It was named one of the World’s Top Female-Friendly Companies by Forbes magazine. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, its online platforms, and its subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the world’s strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and one of the highest credit ratings in the industry.

SOURCE Desjardins Group


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