Research Indicates that SA Needs More Financial Education

By natashabovill, 10 September, 2010

In 2008 / 2009 a study was conducted by FinScope, a research company established by Finmark Trust, to monitor the use and perceptions of the
financial sector in South Africa. The findings of this research report
indicate that South Africa’s public desperately need education in terms
of financial literacy.

According to the research, in spite of South Africa’s 88% basic literacy level there are still high levels of
misunderstanding —or no knowledge at all —of key financial terms.
Approximately 60% of the individuals indicated that they have never
heard of financial terms like debt re-scheduling, debt administration,
debt counselling, the National Credit Act (NCA), personal credit report
and/or bad debt.

The research also indicates that less than 15% of poor people have been exposed to the formal banking environment
which means that they are ignorant with regards to their rights and the
consequences of entering into a formal financial agreement and dealing
with unscrupulous lenders.

In terms of saving and planning for retirement, the research indicates that 67% of poor people have no
retirement plan due to either their impoverished circumstances or lack
of knowledge thereof.

During the research the respondents where also asked about what they would like to know more about. The following
topics were highlighted:

  • How to make effective use of savings products
  • How interest rates work and how they are calculated
  • How to draw up and manage a budget effectively
  • How to select the best investment products
  • How to insure or obtain life cover
  • How to find the best companies for insurance

These findings are truly astonishing and it motivates why financial literacy
training should be such a big priority in our society. Compuscan
Academy aims to address this problem in South Africa by offering
financial literacy and money management training programmes which cover
all the problems mentioned above. Our programmes enable individuals to:

  • Take charge of their financial situation
  • Assess and understand their financial status
  • Budget
  • Make intelligent saving decisions
  • Invest their savings
  • Understand creditworthiness when applying for credit
  • Understand default information and judgments
  • Manage credit accounts responsibly
  • Get out and stay out of the debt ‘trap’ and who to turn to for help
  • Understand credit bureaus and credit reports
  • Obtain a credit report

We at Compuscan Academy would like to invite you to help us solve the
problem of financial illiteracy. By enrolling for one of our programmes
yourself or by enrolling your employees you can make a profound
difference. To learn more about Compuscan Academy’s solutions, please
contact us at Tel: 021 888 6000 or e-mail us at [email protected].

More about Compuscan Academy:
Being a subsidiary company of Compuscan, one of South Africa largest
credit bureaus, Compuscan Academy is an expert when it comes to skills
development and training on financial matters. We deliver specialised,
accredited, generic and customised training services to the financial
and corporate industry of South Africa.

To learn more about Compuscan Academy you are welcome to call us at Tel: 021 888 6000, e-mail us at [email protected] to visit our website at

More about FinScope

FinScope South Africa was piloted in 2002 with 1000 households. Since then the
survey has been conducted annually with the latest findings published
in November 2009. The 2009 survey was conducted by TNS Research Surveys
with 3 900 interviews making use of a syndicate approach. Syndicate
members have ranged from major banks and insurance companies as well as
various government departments, regulators and retailers. The
syndicated members for the 2009 survey were: Absa Bank, Nedbank,
Liberty, National Treasury, Old Mutual, Metropolitan Life, First
National Bank, Standard Bank and Teba Bank.

If you would like to gain more insight about the FinScope study you can visit



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