SET and strategic alliances enhance “Happy Money” project to build financial literacy for Thais nationwide

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has strengthened partnership with private and public sectors to enhance the current “Happy Money” financial planning project, with an aim to provide financial planning knowledge and pass on healthy financial habits to Thai people. Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today presided over the launch ceremony and delivered keynote address on the importance of improving financial literacy. The project is expected to provide financial knowledge to over 3 million people across the country. SET also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote financial knowledge in collaboration with the Government Pension Fund (GPF), the Student Loan Fund (SLF), and the National Savings Fund (NSF) to recover and build financial immunity for Thai people.

In the keynote speech on “Restoring Thai household’s financial health: Join force to strengthen financial immunity”, Arkhom stated that the financial well-being of the Thai people is very crucial and a close monitoring is warranted, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase of Thai household debt, the lack of basic financial knowledge and the coming aged society. Therefore, the problems must be solved continuously and integratedly to align with financial and capital market development direction that focuses on five issues: 1) Building structure and mechanism that are in favour of economic and social development; 2) Developing human resource to be equipped with essential skills for taking care of oneself, particularly financial and savings knowledge; 3) Building people’s awareness on managing risk in life by encouraging them to have good planning and providing them adequate knowledge; 4) Regaining and building financial immunity toward positive financial and savings attitude and behavior; and 5) Collaborating among related agencies of both public and private sectors at all levels to provide people financial literacy. It can be said that the “Happy Money” project is introduced at the right time as the economic rehabilitation must be done hand in hand with the enhancement of people’s potentials. Significantly, strong collaboration among all parties is also needed for fast and vast results to enable Thai people to become resilient and manage their lives appropriately amid uncertainties.

SET President Pakorn Peetathawatchai said SET has strong commitment to develop the capital market to benefit all parties. One of the key ongoing tasks is enhancement of financial literacy which is actually a vital skill to build financial security in life. Since 2009, SET, in partnership with 523 private and public organizations, has created 6,003 financial trainers to inclusively and continuously provide financial planning and savings knowledge to 2.4 million employees of various companies and organizations nationwide. The coverage is expected to be extended to over 3 million people by end of this year.

“This year, the “Happy Money” project will play a pivotal role as a learning hub of savings and financial planning systematically. It will also support organizations and agencies that are project participants in transferring knowledge efficiently, leading towards the changing financial behaviors, proper management of income and expenses. SET will work together with alliances to transfer knowledge to diverse groups including students, workers and general public,” Pakorn said.

Recently, SET, together with the GPF, SLF and NSF, has signed the renewal of the MoU on promoting financial knowledge to reach out to wider target audiences, and practically building financial security for general public nationwide.

GPF Secretary General Srikanya Yathip said that equipping over 1 million members with true knowledge and understanding of savings and investment as well as generating return for financially secure retirement for members are GPF’s key tasks. It has continuously joined hands with SET to enhance knowledge through e-learning system to enable the fund’s members to access to appropriate knowledge and offer them guide on financial knowledge. Furthermore, SET’s experts have taken part in being seminar lecturers for GPF’s members. For future collaboration, GPF will apply knowledge and learning materials provided by SET to better align with the members’ context to make them clearly understand GFP’s portfolio management and achieve their goals of living sufficiently in retired life.

SLF Manager Chainarong Katchapanan said that SLF has been established with the objective to support and enhance education by lending to needy students. SLF has been a project partner with SET since the 2019 academic year, and leverage knowledge and e-learning materials to the target audiences consisting of students; borrowers; educational personnel; interested persons to learn about financial planning, investment and entrepreneurship through SET e-Learning system offering 15 curricula. Students who complete each curriculum can count as community service hours required by SLF. So far, 560,000 students have taken SET e-Learning courses. SLF aims that if the fund’s borrowers are financially literate, they will be capable of appropriately managing their income, assets and debts; and arranging their loan repayment as scheduled to allow in-needed others to access to educational opportunity. SLF is committed to offering equal educational opportunity for all students.

NSF Secretary General Charuluck Ruangsuwan said that NSF is fully committed to building a pension scheme to informal workers, self-employed workers, merchants, farmers, as well as secondary school and university students. The voluntary pension fund’s members aged 15-60 is required to contribute THB 50-13,200 per year, while the government will match contribution up to THB 1,200 a year based on member’s age. Participant contribution to NSF is fully tax-deductible. This partnership is aimed at improving financial knowledge to cultivate savings and investing discipline, and financial planning skill to create sound financial health for happy retirement. In additional, SET will help enhance financial knowledge to general public, partnership network, and NSF’s existing and prospect members in various formats such as training courses and additional learning materials relevant to NSF to transfer knowledge that fits well with target groups, and online channel for informal workers, and students. NSF is aimed to achieve its goal in becoming starting point in instilling savings discipline for future of Thai youth.

The opening ceremony of “Happy Money” project was held on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Participants can have an opportunity to attend the online seminars on “Join forces to promote financial literacy among Thais”, and “How to transfer financial knowledge for sustainable disciplines: a corporate model in driving and enhancing financial skills”. Interested persons are welcome to watch a video playback via “SET Thailand” Facebook and YouTube. For organizations interested in SET’s financial knowledge, please visit www.set.or.th/happymoney for more details.

Source: The Stock Exchange of Thailand