IEC releases 3-year Strategic Plan to improve financial literacy in Hong Kong

26 June 2013

  • Cross-sectoral collaboration to provide holistic financial education
  • Raise financial knowledge and capability through campaigns, community outreach and a dedicated self-service website

The Investor Education Centre (IEC) today released its Overview and Strategic Plan (2013-2016), setting out a 3-year Strategic Plan to better equip Hong Kong people with skills and knowledge to make informed financial decisions and manage their money wisely.

The key components of the IEC's strategy include: reaching the general public with financial education messages through mass media campaigns; building sustainable and tailored outreach programmes for different groups within the community; offering a dedicated self-service website which provides comprehensive, credible and impartial financial information, tools and resources; research and evaluation; collaboration with stakeholders; and engaging with international best practices.

The IEC developed its Strategic Plan building on the results of the HKSAR Government's public consultation about the establishment of the IEC, research findings, stakeholder feedback, international best practice guidance as well as support from Hong Kong's financial regulators and the Education Bureau.

Also published today was the research Financial Knowledge and Capability in Hong Kong: A Foundation Study, which was commissioned by the Securities and Futures Commission for the foundation of the IEC. Based on the findings of this research as well as consultation with key stakeholders, the IEC has identified the following overarching themes for future education work: financial planning; money management; investing concepts and financial product education; and consumer and investor rights and responsibilities.

Mr Miles Larbey, General Manager of the IEC presented the findings of the research and said: "While the research found that the overall financial knowledge and capability in Hong Kong is reasonably good, it also showed that certain investment and financial concepts as well as the nature and benefits of financial planning are not very well understood by some Hong Kong people. The mature age, lower education and income groups in particular show a lower understanding of financial matters, and young adults have also shown the least concern about their financial position and engagement in financial planning."

Mr Larbey added: "Over the next three years, the IEC will seek to deliver a range of education initiatives and campaigns to help improve financial literacy for Hong Kong people as a whole. In addition, we will tailor our programmes and initiatives to meet specific and diverse financial education needs within the community such as students, young adults, people with lower levels of formal education or income, mature age consumers and investors, as well as investors from mainland China, who may require more targeted financial education support or resources."

"Financial education is a long term commitment. This Strategic Plan represents our first steps on this journey", said Mr Larbey. "We would like to sincerely thank all the regulators and other stakeholders for their ongoing support of the IEC." Mr Larbey also commented that financial education for consumers and investors complements regulation, encouraging informed financial decisions as well as contributing to the overall development of financial services industries in Hong Kong as a major international financial centre.

Upcoming initiatives of the IEC include an education campaign to promote awareness of new regulatory measures for investment-linked assurance schemes; multimedia awareness-raising initiatives highlighting the importance of consumer and investor rights and responsibilities; a mass media education campaign about various investing concepts, financial products and topical issues; as well as an outreach campaign targeted at young adults to promote responsible attitudes towards money management and financial planning.

In addition, the IEC website will be continuously enhanced to provide the general public with interactive and engaging content and resources to promote learning.

For details, please visit the IEC website (

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