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UNICREDIT - FINANCIAL EDUCATION AT UNICREDIT

Added on 22-03-2013

Company

UNICREDIT

Network

Fondazione Sodalitas

Year

2011 (ongoing)

Business challenge

Help citizens (i.e customers and non-customers) enhancing their financial knowledge and make more informed financial decisions. UniCredit’s strong European identity and extensive international presence has allowed it to take inspiration from the European Union’s Consumer Policy aimed at increasing consumer awareness with regard to banking products and services when initiating projects on Financial Education. In line with this perspective, UniCredit regards financial education as a key component to sustainable business.

Description

UniCredit believes that financial education is a key component of a sustainable business. That is why we offer free financial education classes with the goal of providing basic financial skills to different segments of population. Thus, UniCredit strengthens the awareness of economic and financial issues and improves the transparency of financial terminology. The goal is to build a society informed and aware, able to use financial products and services in a sustainable manner. Currently within UniCredit perimeter we have different financial education programs activated and customized according to local needs. In Italy in 2011 has been launched In-formati , the Italian structured financial education program activated in 63 cities.
Besides other initiatives have also been launched In Austria and Germany, with the following features:
- Austria: in cooperation with The Austrian Museum of Economics a series of workshops on financial education has been developed to primarily provide academic support with the cooperation of UniCredit Bank Austria AG employees (target: approximately 10,000 students from 14 to 19 years old)
- Germany: a financial education web portal was created and several initiatives are in the pipeline for 2012, e.g. workshops held within the branches and addressing young professionals, apprentices, families, women, seniors and immigrants.
Focus on Italy (In-formati)
In 2011 UniCredit has launched in Italy “In-formati”, the Financial Education Program aiming at supporting citizens in their choices regarding products and services provided by the banking sector, thus contributing to the effort that the banking system is making to strengthen the relationship of trust and transparency between the bank and society. The educational sessions are focused on basic and technical competences of banking and finance. The main topics are the following:
• basic competences: inflation, interest rate, debt load;
• technical competences: Basel rules, checking account, mortgage loan, investment products, collecting and payments.
To ensure the effectiveness of the courses in accordance to the real needs of participants, all initiatives are implemented in collaboration and upon the request of local stakeholders, among others, Consumer Association groups, industry associations, universities, high schools.
In-formati is based on the following pillars:
• Cost-free courses for Clients and Non-Clients
• Proximity to the Territory and Multi-stakeholder approach:
- external stakeholders: local partner raising training needs (Consumer Association, Enterprises, Universities, Schools, Non Profit Organizations)
- internal stakeholders: more than 500 UniCredit employees as volunteer educators
• Multi-target approach:
Courses for clients and non-clients belonging to
the following targets:
- Young people;
- Family;
- Senior;
- Small and medium enterprises;
- Immigrants and cultural mediators;
- Members of non-profit organizations
• Catalogue Courses and Initiatives “custom-made”
- Catalogue Courses to ensure standard quality
and common format in all of cities in Italy
- Initiatives “custom-made” on the basis of specific needs
• Monitoring The attendees are required to fill in a questionnaire to monitor courses effectiveness, customer satisfaction and financial literacy index. The so-called UniCredit Financial Literacy Index is the measure of the participant’s financial knowledge increase after classes, classifies as community benefit.
• Internal community An internal community for In-formati Educators has been launched to share best practices, case histories, articles and materials on financial educations, thus strengthening UniCredit colleagues engagement. The education sessions are provided by UniCredit employees who are involved in the Program as volunteers educators and also benefits of a wide network within all UniCredit functions on the Italian territories. Among the initiatives that recorded the UniCredit participation with the “In-formati” program it is worth to remind the experience on the Ships of Legality (Navi della Legalità) an event organized and promoted by the Ministry of Education and the Falcone Foundation in 2012. Thanks to In-formati, for the first time a bank has set sail on the ships of Legality along with thousands of students and teachers, since 2002, in commemoration of the massacre of Capaci and Via D’Amelio, travelled the route that leads to Palermo, the final step of a journey of education to legality. On the ships “In-formati” points were set up and available to participants and a staff from UniCredit has provided assistance to students and teachers to emphasize the importance of education in banking and financial support of law, an issue that UniCredit has deepened into a debate with students of high schools organized on the ship returning to Civitavecchia. In the event “Ships of Legality”, Uni-Credit has donated 100 computers to the Falcone Foundation and 100 printers to be allocated to disadvantaged schools in the suburbs of Palermo and the three winning schools of the “Ethics, the role and value of memory.” To help young people in the daily financial management, we have developed the initiative for University Genius and we set up a desk to promote a range of products and services available to students at 25 major Italian universities for a total of about 600 days. During these visits UniCredit colleagues have provided over 10,000 guides specific financial training for students.

Impact

Through the In-formati project more than 500 employees of UniCredit commercial network – by working as volunteers / educators - got in touch in a simple and direct way with 25,000 people. Among those people there are important national stakeholders (people and companies) who restored a relationship of trust with our bank and who expressed appreciation in terms of know-how and skills provision. Widespread knowledge is an essential need of people because knowledge is at the base of good behaviors and practices. Well-informed, financially educated consumers are better able to make good decisions for their families and thus are in a position to increase their economic security and well-being. Financially secure families are better able to contribute to vital, thriving communities and therefore this enable UniCredit to further foster community economic development. In this perspective, financial education is important not only to individual households and families but to their communities as well.

Challenges/Lessons learned:

Community benefits: From 2011 to date more than 900 classes have been held involving about 25,000 attendees, providing over 94.000 hours of training
with a Financial Literacy Index of 21% (it is the index expressing the increase in knowledge after attending the UniCredit courses). Customer satisfaction: great interest and satisfaction has been shown by attendees: the attendees expressed a global average satisfaction rate of 3,2 (on a scale from 1 -low interest- to 4 -highest interest/excellence) Stakeholder engagement: - Strengthening UniCredit community proximity and partnership with local actors (enterprises, consumer associations, non-profit organization, schools, universities) - Strengthening corporate identity for the employees involved in the Program as volunteer
trainers.

More information

UniCredit - 2011 Sustainability Report:
www.unicreditgroup.eu - section “sustainability”
www.unicredit.it - section “chi siamo - Unicredit in italia” (available only in Italian)

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