Survey shows low but rising financial literacy
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Survey shows low but rising financial literacy

A large number of Thais do not have enough money to handle an emergency situation for longer than three months, especially amid the Covid-19 outbreak, according to a survey by the Bank of Thailand (BoT).

The central bank conducted the survey on Thai financial literacy among 11,901 households in the fourth quarter of 2020 in collaboration with the National Statistical Office of Thailand.

The survey found that almost 39% of total respondents had sufficient savings for three months in the case of an emergency situation while lacking a main income.

However, 29.2% of respondents only had enough money for spending for less than three months, while 32.8% of respondents were not sure if they had enough money for three months.

Some 62% said they were not sure and did not have sufficient savings to cover an emergency situation, Nawaporn Maharagkaga, BoT assistant governor for risk management group, said yesterday.

The BoT survey on Thai people's financial behaviour under the framework of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) found that 38.9% never faced the problem of insufficient money.

“Given the continued Covid-19 outbreak, basically Thai people should prepare enough savings to last for 3-6 months in preparation for an unexpected situation. Meanwhile, the Covid-19 impact is a key lesson to learn,” Ms Nawaporn said.

With this scenario, the central bank will continue to improve Thai people's financial literacy in all areas under the OECD framework, including the areas of the financial knowledge, financial behaviour and financial attitude.

It will also pay more attention to educating Thai people on cyber security issues to help them avoid cyber risks in the digital era.

Ms Nawaporn, however, said Thai people's financial literacy had improved as the 2020 survey showed their financial literacy scores had risen to 71 points from 66.2 points in the previous survey in 2018.

The score for financial knowledge increased from 55.7 to 62.9, while that for the financial behaviour rose from 67.8 to 71.1, and the financial attitude score rose from 78 to 82.

Thais in all generations gained better scores on financial literacy, especially Gen Y, whose age is between 20 and 39.

The survey found that Gen Y respondents studied financial information, planning and allocating savings and investment properly.

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