He also pointed out that in this context the situation differs significantly between developed and emerging countries, where banking penetration is not universal. In fact, in 2021, some 1.4 billion adults still did not have a bank account. For this reason, in his opinion, “investment in financial and digital education is a lever to ensure that the use of financial services is done in a mindful and responsible manner.”
Carlos Torres Vila stressed that, despite the significant progress made worldwide in financial education, many challenges still lie ahead, such as the need to reach the most vulnerable population or to adapt learning to demographic changes caused by greater longevity. In this respect, “at BBVA we are convinced that the combined effect of knowledge in digitization together with financial education will offer great opportunities to the whole of society and especially to the most vulnerable,” he said.
Carlos Torres Vila placed special emphasis on the role of education in overcoming the challenge of integrating sustainability into financial decisions. “At BBVA we work to improve society’s knowledge and skills related to digitalization, finance and sustainability, including not only large investors, but also small savers, retail customers, entrepreneurs or non-profit organizations,” to collectively promote sustainable growth, he said.
Financial education for sustainable development
Carlos Torres Vila placed special emphasis on the role of education in overcoming the challenge of integrating sustainability into financial decisions. First, he believes it is critical for people to be aware of the impact of sustainability on the offering of financial products and services when it comes to making decisions. Secondly, the impact of their decisions must be conveyed to the financial consumer to contribute to a more sustainable world. Finally, this awareness and understanding must be translated into actionable decisions.