Half of all Finns follow financial news at least on a weekly basis. The most interesting topics mentioned were the Finnish economy and local financial news. Meanwhile, a fifth of Finns almost never follow any financial news because they do not find them interesting enough or do not feel sufficiently acquainted with financial issues. These findings were the result of a survey on financial literacy conducted by TNS Gallup and commissioned by Nordea.
According to the survey, interest in financial news increases along with the respondents' age. Among pensioners, more than 40% indicated that they follow the financial news on a daily basis, whereas only a tenth of those aged 18 to 25 do so. Close to two in five men follow the financial news daily, compared to less than a fifth of women. There was also some variation based on the place of residence: respondents from the Greater Helsinki area were more interested in the financial news than those in, say, Eastern Finland.
– There were also differences between different population groups in terms of the kind of news they followed. News on the Finnish economy and local news were considered the most interesting across the board but men, for example, were more interested in the European and global economy, whereas women were more interested in articles dealing with people's daily lives and employment. The survey's results also reflected the respondents' personal circumstances. News on the labour market and the European and global economy appealed to the unemployed, whereas middle-income respondents were more interested in taxation and ordinary people's stories, says Pasi Sorjonen, an economist at Nordea.
Room for improvement in financial literacy
The survey also examined how well Finns are acquainted with key financial terms.
– Nearly all respondents were able to name the choice that best described inflation or dividends. On the other hand, a surprisingly high number of the respondents – two in five – had trouble with simple percentage calculations, Sorjonen comments.
Finns also believe that the management of personal finances should primarily be taught at home and at school. The respondents voiced their hope that schools would increasingly focus on the day-to-day management of personal finances, such as saving, loans and the use of credit cards.
– This is definitely a very traditional line of thinking and a good one at that. It would be great if people kept more up-to-date on financial matters in order to be able to better teach them to the next generation, says Sorjonen.
Sorjonen believes that there is always room for improvement in Finns' understanding of financial terms and events.
– What it requires is that the media, experts, teachers and even banks are able to talk about financial issues that seem difficult in a clear and understandable way.
The survey was conducted as an Internet panel by TNS Gallup on commission by Nordea between 11 June and 21 June 2015. The responses have been weighted taking into account the respondent's age, sex and place of residence. The number of respondents between the ages of 18 and 65 was 1,004.
For further information:
Pasi Sorjonen, Economist, 050 557 5271
Anni Hiekkanen, Chief Press Officer, 050 4385094