Financial education in Germany: new beginnings or a break?ConPolicy speaks at the GDV Insurance Summit

A panel discussion on financial education in Germany took place at this year's GDV Insurance Summit. The central questions were to what extent financial education in Germany should be expanded and how the Financial Education Initiative of the German government should be assessed.

These questions were discussed by ConPolicy Managing Director Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun together with State Secretary Jürgen Böhm (Saxony-Anhalt Ministry of Education) and Verena von Hugo (Bündnis Ökonomische Bildung). 

His key messages were:

  • In an increasingly complex consumer world, consumer skills are of central importance. 
  • This would not require a new school subject, but the relevant content would have to be integrated into existing subjects. This integration should also be reflected in the curricula and guidelines of the federal states. Teachers would also need to be adequately trained and they would need uncomplicated access to quality-checked teaching materials.
  • In addition to school education, extracurricular education should also be taken into account. After all, all consumers need consumer skills.

However, he also warned that educational initiatives are no substitute for taking action against market failures. Inefficient and overpriced financial products or misselling of financial products should be regulated. These challenges cannot be solved with education and more consumer information.