More and more Filipinos now understand the value of budgeting and planning for their retirement, and claim building their savings has become a personal priority, says Citi Philippines as it announced the latest results of its annual Citi Fin-Q survey.
The country’s largest foreign bank has been running an online poll since 2007 to measure the Fin-Q or Financial Quotient of Filipino consumers. All respondents were over 18 years of age with either a bank account or a major credit card.
For the second straight year, Filipinos passed the 50-point mark, and scored a record high of 53 out of a possible 100 points. The improved score was driven by increased awareness among respondents of the importance of planning personal finances, ownership of several financial products such as investments and insurance, and a general optimism on their financial future.
In this latest survey, respondents were scored on 11 different questions closely related to financial well-being for a maximum possible score of 100. The questionnaire consisted of over 80 questions and covered a range of topics related to making smart financial decisions and having good financial habits.
Citi conducted the survey through research firm Big Picture Qual and Quant Research in late 2012, and results were released this year. The survey covered 3,500 online respondents across seven countries including the Philippines. Five hundred interviews were held in each of the participating countries that include Australia, India, Indonesia, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.
Preparing for the future
Proving that Filipinos are now more conscious about planning their finances, more than 9 out of 10 said they create a budget on a monthly basis, and 65% acknowledged the importance of sticking to their budget.
In preparing for their future, Filipinos seem to be right on track as well. In fact, it was a record year in terms of their confidence in their insurance coverage, with nearly 8 out of 10 saying they own insurance products or enjoy income protection.
As they prepare for retirement, a total of 63% said they are on track with their retirement savings or had already started to set aside some savings for it.
Committed to financial education
Since launching the survey in 2007, Citi has been focused on helping consumers understand the importance of planning their financial future and guiding them in achieving their financial goals. Citi Country Officer Sanjiv Vohra says, “Citi is always on the lookout for opportunities to reach out to a wide range of audiences and go beyond our client base to promote financial literacy. When consumers are engaged in discussions on saving, budgeting and investing, it raises awareness on the importance of being able to make smart financial decisions for their future.”
Citi had such an opportunity in December when it hosted the 2012 Citi-FT Financial Education Summit here in Manila, a regional conference that drew some 300 delegates from over 30 countries to address the urgent need to bridge the financial capability gap here in Asia.
This and the other efforts of Citi seem to be paying off. According to the survey, building their savings tops the financial concerns of Filipinos. It was also revealed that six out of 10 said they know a fair bit or know exactly their current net worth.
Optimism also up in Asia
Across Asia Pacific, the average Citi Fin-Q score is also above the 50-point mark at 53.2 points. Optimism was also at a high with 67% saying they are somewhat or very optimistic about their financial futures.
When it comes to building their savings, 44% said they set aside or save some money every time they get paid. Armed with foresight, 63% reported that they knew how much they would need in retirement and were on track, and 57 % believe they have enough insurance to protect them and their families.
“Apart from the encouraging results of this latest survey, we are also seeing how Filipinos are taking a more active role in managing their finances and planning their future. Citi is proud to take part in this initiative and we hope to continue the conversation with consumers through more financial literacy programs this year,” added Vohra.
Apart from the Citi Fin-Q Survey and the recently concluded 9th Citi-FT Financial Education Summit, Citi is also known for having the longest-running credit education campaign, Use Credit Wisely (www.usecreditwisely.citibank.com.ph).