Financial and Consumer Counselling Offices – free legal aid in a field of civil law, bankruptcy law, banking law, credit union law and consumer law. The contact with advisers is provided during individual meetings or by phone, e-mail or mail. Everyone can receive debt/legal advice, however one client has the right to consult his/ her problem three times in one case. In the cases where more attention is required, clients are attended as many times as they need. Advisers are not only responsible for debt/legal advice, they also draft legal documents such as petitions to declare bankruptcy, proposal for the splitting into instalments and others required documents.
Regarding to the client financial situation advisers provide assistance in:
1. determining the financial and legal situation of the client,
2. providing information on the customer's rights and entitlements,
3. clarifying credit procedures,
4. home budget advice,
5. clarifying issues related to over-indebtedness.
The aid is provided throughout Poland.
„Live financially!- how to manage finances in your personal life”- one year program addressed to teenagers between 15-19 years old. Students participate in workshops maintained by their teacher, who was previously trained by SKEF (SPFE) in special weekend course. Every participant receives coursebook, which provides information about personal finance, basic financial services and products, teaches how to use them safely and gives additional exercises. Coursebook introduces such topics as: budget, planning your career, investments and insurances.. Every year workshops are provided in 25-30 high schools throughout the Poland. Additionally with workshops is organised contest of the same name “Live financially!- how to manage finances in your personal life”. Contest consist of two part. During first phase students are obliged to prepare essay on a particular subject e.g. “Prepare financial plan for study in different town/country”, “How can I save money for the car?”, “How you imagine your best financial education lesson?” From the submitted essays the jury selects ten best competition works. Authors of the best ten essays are invited to a final stage of the contest, during which they compete by answering test questions and open questions from the issues contained in the coursebook for the cash prize.
“Help save the family”, “Help youth save up” – the aim of both projects is to help group of people who are exposed to higher risk of inability to manage their finance. Project “Help save the family” The project directed to families with low income, who did not have a chance to gain financial capacity and literacy, and were thus exposed to overindebtedness. The one edition of the project lasts 9 month. During that period participants are obliged to save all bills and take care of their financial budget. Moreover, at the beginning they set themselves the goal of saving as a family. Every month the family meets with their mentor (employee of the SKEF), during that time together have possibility to learn more about planning, financial products and services, project individual budget, discuss incomes and expenses. Also they have time to consider various opportunities to improve their financial position . After the period of 9 months it is expected that family will be able to manage their budget in a more conscious way and save some money for the goal set at the beginning.,. The most important is the inclusion in this process of collecting receipts, planning, saving the whole family, including children who will receive a lesson in financial education in a practical way.
Project “Help the youth save up”
The Society for Promotion of Financial Education (SKEF) from Poland has prepared a new project in the field of financial education “Help the youth save up”, which aims at developing knowledge, skills and positive attitudes in the field of personal finance management among children from orphanages over 15 years of age.
Due to the lack of support from the family environment, additional activities should be introduced to this group to support their development and to better prepare them for adulthood.
One of such activities may be participation in the project “Help the youth save up”, which will provide children from orphanages with education in the area of personal finances.
During the project, participants will have the opportunity to acquire practical skills in planning and preparing a personal budget and using it in everyday life, responsible use of products and services available on the financial market, including loans, credits, personal bills and therefore effective management of personal finances. The project will last 5 months. Each participant will receive monthly pocket money. They will also receive the support of a mentor who will give them guidance throughout the duration of the project.
During the project, pupils will participate in three practical workshops in the field of financial education. The thematic scope of the workshop has been individually selected to meet the needs of its participants. Young people will choose themes of their interest.
At the end of the project, after meeting all conditions, young people will receive a cash payment as agreed at the beginning of the project and to achieve their individual goal. We hope that the knowledge, experience and skills acquired in the project will contribute towards making more informed and responsible financial decisions in the future.
“I think, I decide, I act – finance for the youngest” – 2,5-year project directed at younger elementary schoolchildren implemented with National Bank of Poland in cooperation with Polish elementary schools and teachers; it implements financial education materials among 44 groups of pupils who can experience 80 hours of regular workshops based on the educational package “I think, I decide, I act – Finance for the youngest”, prepared by Professor Małgorzata Żytko from the University of Warsaw, Dr. Alina Kalinowska from the University of Warmia and Mazury and Ewa Kruk from SKEF.
The educational package “I think, I decide, I act – Finance for the youngest”:
- builds children’s knowledge in economics and finance;
- develops skills related to functioning in the financial environment;
- enables personal experience related to money management;
- supports development of mathematical skills of school students in the context of everyday economic and financial experiences;
- develops the ability of critical thinking;
- encourages self-searching of information, carrying out experiments and analysing sources and texts related to money matters;
- encourages students and teachers to teamwork using the project method;
- develops language skills through moderated discussions on financial topics;
- supports understanding of the humanistic dimension of financial processes;
- inspires and awakens creativity through fun.
The educational package “I think, I decide, I act – Finance for the youngest” contributes, as a result, to building and developing financial awareness and responsibility for the decisions taken.
Training courses: “Safe family, safe senior” , “Aware senior” (projects addressed to seniors implemented with National Bank of Poland supporting financial literacy among elderly people) “Safe family, safe senior”- project focuses on two issues: common account and disposition in the event of death. Seniors in the group of 15 people could participate in the workshops during which were presented abovementioned information. Additionally each participant received small coursebook with the information presented during workshops. Subject presented in the workshops are especially interesting for seniors, because large number of old marrieds posses common account, however do not know about basic right and obligations related to this kind of account. Disposition in the event of death might be especially useful for those who would like to safe the financial stability for the members of family in case of their death, without waiting for judicial succession.
“Aware senior”- project focuses on two main issues: cashless payments and Credit Information Bureau. Seniors in the group of 15 people could participate in the workshops during which were presented abovementioned information. Additionally each participant received small coursebook with the information presented during workshops. Subjects presented in workshops might be useful for Senior in current financial word. The popularity of cashless payments is still growing, Seniors shall be aware of the new opportunities as well as risks. Second part of the workshops was dedicated to Credit Information Bureau which is responsible for processing loan and credit data. It is crucial for Seniors to be aware of that kind of institution.
Poland Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego/ Financial Supervision Authority
“Be careful” – website provides basic guidance regarding potential risks provoked by Corovirus crisis. Nowadays consumers may become victims of fraudsters, who take advantage from unusual situation. On the website consumers may obtain information how to prevent themselves from hazardous situation and to take conscious steps such as: to protect private data, to verify information in proper institutions, to verify investments which promise high profits.
“Crowdfunding” –website provides basic information about the role and importance of the crowdfunding in current investments. Materials are divided into two groups: first one describes different kinds of risks related to this kind of investments and second one focuses on the rules of crowdfunding.
“Fascinated by”– campaign which prevents from investing into condohotel or aparthotel without proper information about investment. Consumers who are interested in such project shall have access to all information related to project and shall not feel uncomfortable to ask further questions. Website consists of practical guidance for investor and quiz. The campaign was created in collaboration with Financial Supervision Authority, Office for Competition and Consumer Protection and Ministry of Investment and Development.
Lesson scenarios for financial education:
“First steps in the financial market” – project introduces the board game as a tool to understand basic financial terms and mechanism. The aim of the lesson is to raise awareness of the pupils about the risks of investments. After the lesson students shall understand what is the capital market and what are its functions, know how stock exchange works, are aware of basic dangers related to investments.
“Lesson scenarios for the risks associated with investing in capital market” – set of lesson scenarios in the area of investment. The brochure is divided into 4 individual scenarios:
– investing in shares and bonds
– investing in derivatives
– investing in investment funds
– investment limits in the investment fund
Depending on the subject, students get familiar with new financial terms, which are explained during classes. Than the teacher encourages pupils to further discussion over the subject. Also are available additional exercises to work in groups.