Continuous research and evaluation to improve Malaysians’ financial well-being

The Financial Education Network (FEN) hosted its inaugural Community of Practice (COP) Virtual Panel Discussion recently, aimed at equipping FEN members and the broader financial education community with insights for developing more effective strategies and delivering sustainable and impactful financial education to Malaysians.  
Attended by policymakers, researchers, academia, international bodies, and other stakeholders currently involved in advancing financial literacy in Malaysia, this year's COP featured two panel discussions; “Global Insights on Measurement and Evaluation of Financial Education and its Effectiveness” and “Harnessing Research to Improve Malaysia’s Financial Literacy”.
During her opening address, Ms. Jessica Chew, Deputy Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia touched on the achievements of FEN members and the importance of financial literacy, including critical milestones and reiterated the need for more financial education awareness and support in these challenging times. 
“We need to equip and empower Malaysians with the right knowledge and skills to confidently make responsible financial decisions at key stages of their lives. This requires us to constantly adapt our approaches to consider the different experiences that individuals have with money and finance, changing attitudes of society and changing risks facing consumers as the financial landscape continues to evolve,” she said. 
The COP has released two behavioural studies to inform future collaborations. The studies, which resulted from a partnership between Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM) and The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), provide insights into how Malaysians behave in relation to savings and how the urban millennials behave in relation to life and health insurance.
The savings study found that many Malaysians lack the ability to withstand financial shocks and saved when they could, rather than by regular fixed amounts. Insights from the insurance study observed that when making decisions about insurance, millennials will disengage if faced with too many complex choices. The studies  recommended ways to encourage Malaysians to make wise financial decisions including smarter use of default settings to prompt positive behaviours, and tools to help individuals set financial goals and develop regular savings habits. In addition, it was found that simplifying choices and modelling peer behaviours can positively influence the insurance decisions of millennials.
These studies can be found at: or the FEN website at:
The role of research has been identified as a key component to guide and elevate the financial literacy agenda. In this regard, a Research Advisory Panel (RAP) chaired by PIDM was created. The RAP comprises a panel of experts to support FEN’s research and development objectives. Work is also underway to develop a digital repository for the sharing of research outcomes in this field. This will further facilitate deeper discussion on analysis and insights, towards promoting financial capability and well-being amongst Malaysians.

Since the launch of the National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2019 – 2023 in July 2019, FEN members and partners have rolled out more than 400 education programmes and initiatives in collaboration with the Government, business community and education sectors. To date, FEN’s outreach programmes have garnered more than 47 million interactions from the public.
About Financial Education Network (FEN)
Established in November 2016, FEN serves as an inter-agency platform to increase the impact of financial education initiatives and identify new opportunities to elevate financial literacy among Malaysians through greater alignment, closer collaboration and strong focus on impact assessments. Its members include the Ministry of Education Malaysia, Ministry of Higher Education, Bank Negara Malaysia, Securities Commission Malaysia, Employees Provident Fund, Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit, Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia and Permodalan Nasional Berhad.
About the Research Advisory Panel (RAP)
The Research Advisory Panel (RAP) is responsible for the functional area on “Research and Development” under the FEN Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025. Chaired by PIDM, the other founding member organisations of RAP are Bank Negara Malaysia, Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK), Universiti Malaya, Khazanah Research Institute, Fi Life, RinggitPlus and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

Issued by:
Communications and Public Affairs Division,
Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia.
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