Allianz Malaysia and FOMCA continue their efforts to promote financial literacy
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Allianz Malaysia and Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (“FOMCA”) join efforts to promote financial literacy among students during FOMCA’s 2015 Malaysian Consumers Day Celebration (“HPM 2015”) for the third consecutive year.
On 27 February 2015, the sponsorship agreement was renewed for the third year running by Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad (“Allianz Life”), the life subsidiary of Allianz Malaysia, with FOMCA. In 2015, Allianz Malaysia is committed to rolling out My Finance Coach classes in 20 schools during FOMCA’s outreach programmes held in conjunction with its HPM 2015 competition from February to July 2015. This joint effort aims to help improve the financial literacy of students and young people.
Since the year 2002, FOMCA has been organising Consumerism Competitions in conjunction with the Malaysian Consumers Day Celebration which falls on 26 July every year. This is an annual event spread over six months and consists of various competitions for the public at large with a special focus on school children and school consumer clubs. Last year, 129,509 consumers participated in the competitions which include essay writing, poster drawing and photography among others. This has led to FOMCA being recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records for the largest number of participants in a Consumerism Competition in 2010, 2012, 2013 and also 2014.
“We are honoured to be part of FOMCA’s initiative in educating consumers. Over the last two years, through this effort, we were able to successfully reach out to 29 schools and over 2,500 students across Malaysia. This year, we will continue introducing My Finance Coach into schools in more states to share knowledge on money management and finances with students,” said Rangam Bir, CEO of Allianz Life.
“Consumers require consumer education in order to build their capacity to act as rational, informed and responsible consumers within the market place. FOMCA firmly believes that continuous consumer education is the most effective way for consumers to become knowledgeable about consumer laws, their rights and methods of redress in order to participate effectively and confidently in the market place and take appropriate action when seeking consumer redress. Thus, we start this education from a young age with our outreach to schools in the hopes of developing young people into mature and resilient consumers. We are happy that Allianz Malaysia is supporting us in our task and hope that other corporate bodies will step forward to join us,” said Prof. Datuk Dr. Marimuthu Nadason, President of FOMCA.My Finance Coach is a non-profit initiative founded in Germany in 2010 by partner companies Allianz, Grey and McKinsey. It is a financial literacy programme aimed at improving the money management skills of young people. Under the My Finance Coach programme, employee volunteers of Allianz Malaysia trained as Finance Coaches conduct classes in schools and non-profit organisations. Classes are interactive and engaging, with students encouraged to come to their own conclusions through role play, product tests and dialogue, among others. By using real life examples, economics and money management is taught in a way that young people can relate to. All Finance Coaches are required to abide to the code of conduct of My Finance Coach which expressly prohibits any form of selling activities.
“Since implementing My Finance Coach in 2012, we have completed over 115 class visits and reached out to more than 4,500 students. Our partnership with FOMCA enables us to work with different schools and expand to new areas, and we are constantly seeking to improve our modules and create more engaging activities,” said Bir.
In Malaysia, the programme has been well-received by students, with feedback forms indicating that they find the classes fun and educational and that the materials are varied and interesting. The Finance Coaches, who are currently all Allianz employees, also find it beneficial to be able to experience a different environment and utilise different skills through this programme. Dealing with teachers and students is a great change from their usual day-to-day interactions in the corporate world.
“By educating the younger generation, we hope to create well-informed consumers who can handle their money prudently and, hopefully, continue to do so into adulthood. Particularly in an increasingly difficult economic climate, financial literacy is a necessary life skill to help young people stay out of debt. Thus, we see our partnership with FOMCA as perfectly aligned,” Bir concluded.