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OP-Pohjola Group Survey: Finance tool in the pocket - smartphones is increasing their role in managing personal finances


May 12, 2014 - London

According to the Financial Literacy Survey commissioned by OP-Pohjola, up to one-tenth of Finns use a mobile application that makes it easier to monitor personal finances. Following financial and economic/business issues is also becoming more common through social media. The role of schools as the most important provider of advice in financial and economic issues will grow.

According to the survey results, people are more active in following financial and economic/business news. The proportion of people following financial and economic/business issues at least on a weekly basis increased from 59% a year ago to 65%. People also tend to increasingly follow up on financial and economic information through social media.

In particular, the use of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter is particularly visible among young people. Half of young people say that they follow financial and economic/business news on Facebook, whereas business and financial discussion boards, blogs and Linkedln attract incipient interest evenly among all age groups.

An application that makes it easier to monitor personal finances on mobile phones or tablets is used by over one-tenth of people, with young people showing a markedly higher proportion.

­ - During the digital age, it is easier and easier to follow financial and business issues in a manner that suits people best, irrespective of time and place. We expect that 25% of the Finns will be users of a mobile application by the end of 2014 that makes it easier to monitor and plan personal finances, such as OP-mobile and Pivo, says economist Maarit Lindström of OP-Pohjola.

­ - Mobile applications for easier management of personal finances are becoming a commonplace. At their best, they will create a new type of customer experience, highlighting user-friendliness and adaptability to changing needs. This also helps users to learn and supports the management and decision-making of their personal finances.

Schools will play a growing role in providing advice

The financial literacy index remained unchanged over the previous year. The index for those of over 50 years of age is considerably better than that for other age groups. The clear majority of those in older age groups feel that they can manage well personal finances and their planning.

Only every other young person feels the same and only 25% say that news about financial and economic issues is clear and understandable. The survey results also reveal that young people feel, in more cases than the older generation, that they should improve skills related to personal finances and financial planning.

Finns still consider banks their most important advisor in the planning of personal finances. However, the role of banks is thought to have decreased and that of schools to have increased. Education, advice from the family and friends and social media have a highly visible role among young people, in particular.

­ - I think that the increasing role of schools is positive. All young people should have the opportunity to acquire skills in the management of personal finances and the basics of finance and economics irrespective of their background. Enhancing financial literacy before making major financial decisions in life is important to the younger generation that will bear more personal responsibility for its financial future than their parents did, says Lindström.

Working hard, selecting job and having education as success factors

More than half (55%) of the respondents feel that the current economic situation has influenced their spending, as against 42% a year ago. Two-thirds (62%) of the respondents and up to 47% of young people say that they have prepared for a deterioration of their financial standing.

Almost one-third of the respondents say that planning personal finances often causes anxiety. However, young respondents are more optimistic about the economic outlook and the progress of their financial standing.

­ - Finns think that working hard, selecting a job and acquiring proper education form the top three aspects when assessing factors for personal prosperity. An appetite for success is also highly visible among young people, sums up Lindström.

- It is great that Finns identify their opportunities in factors in which they can have a significant influence.

Conducted by TNS Gallup and commissioned by OP-Pohjola Group, the Financial Literacy Survey was carried out as an online survey in the TNS Gallup Forum panel with 1,671 respondents forming a representative sample of active population at the age of 18-69 years. A supplementary sample of young people at the age of 18-26 years (n=300) was collected for the survey. This was the fourth time the survey was conducted.

More information on the survey results can be found in OP-Pohjola Nyt (OP-Pohjola Now) at www.op.fi/uutishuone (in Finnish).

For more information, please contact: Maarit Lindström, Vice President, Economist, OP-Pohjola, tel. +358 (0)531 8262

OP-Pohjola Group is Finland's leading financial services group providing a unique range of banking, investment and insurance services. The Group's mission is to promote the prosperity, well-being and security of its owner-members, customers and operating regions through its local presence. Its objective is to offer the best and most versatile package of loyal customer benefits on the market. OP-Pohjola Group consists of some 180 member cooperative banks and the Group's central institution, OP-Pohjola Group Central Cooperative, with its subsidiaries and closely-related companies, the largest of which is the listed company Pohjola Bank plc. The Group has a staff of 12,000. OP-Pohjola Group posted earnings before tax of EUR 705 million in 2013 and had total assets of EUR 101 billion on 31 December 2013. The Group has 4.3 million customers. www.op.fi

Appendix to the press release on the Financial Literacy Survey 2014



This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Pohjola Pankki Oyj via Globenewswire

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