CUNA Regulatory Comment Call
September 1, 2004
Financial Literacy and Education Commission National Strategy
- The Financial Literacy and Education Commission (Commission) has issued a request for comments inviting feedback from the public on the development of a national strategy to promote the basic financial literacy and financial education of everyone (both youth and adults) in the United States.
- The Commission was established under Title V, the Financial Literacy and Education Improvement Act, which was part of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act). The stated purpose of the Commission is to improve financial literacy and education of persons in the U.S. The Commission is chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury and is composed of the heads of 19 other federal agencies including: NCUA (Chairman JoAnn Johnson); the Department of Education; the Federal Reserve; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); the Small Business Administration (SBA); the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- The principal duties of the Commission include: (1) encouraging government and private sector efforts to promote financial literacy; (2) coordinating financial education efforts of the federal government, including the identification and promotion of best practices; (3) establishing a website to serve as a clearinghouse and provide a coordinated point of entry for information about federal financial literacy and education programs, grants, and other information; and (4) establishing a toll-free hotline available to members of the public seeking information about issues pertaining to financial literacy and education.
- The Commission is charged with educating the public on:
- Creating household budgets, initiating savings plans, and making strategic investment decisions for education, retirement and home ownership;
- Managing spending, credit and debt--including credit card debt--effectively;
- Increasing awareness of the availability and significance of credit reports and credit scores in obtaining credit, the importance of their accuracy and how to correct inaccuracies and their effect on credit terms;
- Ascertaining fair and favorable credit terms;
- Avoiding abusive, predatory or deceptive credit offers and financial products;
- Understanding, evaluating and comparing financial products, services and opportunities; and
- Understanding resources that ought to be easily accessible and affordable and that inform and educate investors as to their rights.
- Goals set out for the commission include:
- Increasing awareness of the particular financial needs and financial transactions (e.g., sending remittances) of consumers who are targeted in multilingual financial literacy and education programs;
- Promoting bringing individuals who lack basic banking services into the financial mainstream by opening and maintaining an account with a financial institution; and
- Improving financial literacy and education through all other related skills, including personal finance and related economic education.
- More information on the Commission is available on the Commissions homepage: http://www.treas.gov/offices/domestic-finance/financial-institution/fin-education/commission/index.html
- To access the News Now article covering the Commissions last quarterly meeting on May 20, 2004, please click on the link below: http://www.cuna.org/newsnow/04/wash052004-8.html
- Importantly, the Commission also is required, not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of the FACT Act, to develop a national strategy to promote basic financial literacy and education among all American consumers. The FACT Act was enacted on December 4, 2003. Congress designated the Department of the Treasurys Office of Financial Education to lend its expertise and provide primary support to the Commission to assist it in fulfilling its functions and duties. The Treasury is inviting comments on behalf of the Commission to obtain input for the Commission to use in formulating the national strategy.
- Comments are due to the Treasury Department by October 31, 2004. Please send your comments to CUNA by October 15, 2004. Please feel free to fax your responses to CUNA at 202-638-7052; e-mail them to Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Senior Regulatory Counsel Catherine Orr at email@example.com; or mail them to Mary or Catherine in c/o CUNA's Regulatory Advocacy Department, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 6th Floor - South Building, Washington, DC 20004-2601. You may also contact us if you would like a copy of Request for Comments, or you may access it here.
QUESTIONS REGARDING THE NATIONAL FINANCIAL LITERACY/EDUCATION STRATEGY
- What are the three most important issues that the national financial
literacy/education strategy should address and why?
- What existing resources may be used to address those issues, and how could
they be employed?
- What are the best ways to improve financial literacy and financial education
in the United States?
- Other comments?
Eric Richard General Counsel (202) 508-6742 firstname.lastname@example.org |
Mary Mitchell Dunn SVP & Associate General Counsel (202) 508-6736 email@example.com
Jeffrey Bloch Assistant General Counsel (202) 508-6732 firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Orr Senior Regulatory Counsel (202) 508-6743 email@example.com