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Give our kids finance lessons, govt urged

By Nick Bendel
04 April 2014 | 3 minute read

Teaching financial literacy at schools will produce a fairer and more competitive financial system, according to Yellow Brick Road.

The wealth group’s submission to the Financial System Inquiry urged the federal government to add financial literacy to the national curriculum.

“An informed and educated population is crucial to the operation of a good financial system,” Yellow Brick Road said.

“If we expect Australians to build sufficient wealth to retire comfortably in their own home then we have to ensure people know how to make the right decisions to get them there.”

The group said students should be taught the fundamentals of financial management so they could learn how to manage a mortgage, insurance and superannuation later in life.

“Financial literacy skills and the ability to access affordable financial advice are critical to assisting people to navigate these big decisions skilfully,” it said.

ANZ also highlighted the benefits of financial education in the bank's submission to the Financial System Inquiry.

“The inquiry should endorse the importance of improving financial literacy as a means to equip people to make better choices themselves, and as a complementary and worthwhile approach to consumer protection regulation,” the ANZ submission said.

Meanwhile, the submission filed by the MFAA argued it was brokers, not the major lenders, that were driving competition in the mortgage market.

The association said that the big four banks are so dominant that they compete to maintain market share rather than to survive. This fails to produce “systemic or game changer innovations”, the MFAA added.

According to the MFAA, 13 per cent of borrowers choose smaller lenders when they deal directly with the lender, but 27 per cent choose smaller lenders when they go through a broker.

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