Citi Banamex Financial Education: Ten Years and Ten Million Beneficiaries
By Elena García Cano, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, Citi Banamex Financial Education August 21, 2015 01:00 PM
Since 2005, more than ten million Mexicans have benefited from Banamex’s Financial Education program “Saber Cuenta” (Knowing Counts). The first comprehensive bank initiative for economic and financial education in Mexico, Banamex formed the program in response to an urgent need in a population that was underserved. Saber Cuenta’s mission is to assist the public, particularly the lower-income population, in developing skills and mindsets that will empower them to make smart personal financial decisions.
I am proud to be part of the Saber Cuenta program, which helps those in need in three ways: improving personal and/or family finance, teaching entrepreneurship finance (for micro, small and medium enterprises) and providing institutional financial support for non-governmental organizations.
When this program was launched on May 25th, 2005, the planned investment was $7.5 million over ten years. To date, $20 million has been invested in Saber Cuenta, with a direct positive impact on ten million Mexicans across more than 400 municipalities.
From its inception, Saber Cuenta was designed to reach people of all ages, from urban and rural areas – and even people with different learning styles – through a variety of workshops, courses, conferences and online courses. All training materials are designed according to the needs of specific segments, as well as people in various at-risk situations. For example, Saber Cuenta created the first courses and workshops in Mexico on financial education for migrants, people with disabilities and people with Alzheimer's disease.
Outside trainers, supported by dedicated volunteers, are brought in to lead these courses. In fact, over the past ten years, 3,487 employee volunteers have supported the program. In addition, Saber Cuenta is also supported by a strategic network of partners who provide their facilities to develop these trainings, including local universities and organizations such as the Center for Community Development and Merced Foundation, among others.
We continually assess and review Saber Cuenta so it remains relevant and fulfills the needs of our beneficiaries. The program is responsible for assessing all the elements of its educational offerings, and to achieve this we have partnered with key educational institutions such as the Center for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology, SOLLIV Constructing Opportunities Solid for Livelihoods, Phenoma and the Center for Educational Research Institutional Training.
Our colleagues are also able to benefit from the program. Saber Cuenta trainers and volunteers have hosted conferences, workshops and online courses, and provided other resources for employees of Banamex Financial Group. In 2013 the bank designed a comprehensive personal finance strategy in which 34,608 employees took part. I was fortunate to benefit from the program myself, though the “Parque Financiero Impulsa” program, an interactive simulator in which the attendee learns how to manage a budget depending on the needs of each person. Using what I learned, I was able to change my spending habits and have been able to put more money into savings.
Since its inception, Saber Cuenta has remained independent from the business operations of the bank. Though, it is clear the program has added value by providing economic and financial education to the community, customers and our employees.
After a decade of success, Banamex Financial Education reaffirms its commitment to further promote economic and financial education, build the necessary culture so financial inclusion extends to all Mexicans and help Mexico’s citizens make the right personal financial decisions and improve their quality of life.