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Initiatives to Enhance Financial Literacy

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Dissemination of Information to Enhance Financial Literacy among its Customers through MHBK's "Ouchi no Okane" Website and Seminars

Responding to the Household Financial Management Needs of the Younger Generations

In today's society, we have opportunities to use a wide range of financial products appropriate for the various stages of our lives. These include savings deposits, asset management, and housing loans. On the other hand, we hear about various financially related social problems, including over borrowing by some people and households without any savings. For the younger generations, accumulating assets through the proper selection and use of financial products based on improved knowledge and judgmental capabilities, or, in other words, through improved financial literacy, will be increasingly important. This will involve avoiding unplanned expenditures and improvement of household cash flows and acquiring the habits necessary to plan and make preparations for various life events.

Along with increasing diversity in lifestyles and values that are accompanying changes in social conditions and the rise in the number of households where both husband and wife hold jobs, members of the younger generations have a number of concerns. These include how working couples should manage their income and expenses, respectively, and what they should do to prepare for future life events.

In December 2010, MHBK launched its "Ouchi no Okane" website, which is designed to provide assistance to couples by enhancing their financial literacy and provide support for their lives through offering financial products and services. This website presents information on household financial management and how to prepare for major life events, along with information and guidance on how to obtain the necessary knowledge and judgment capabilities to use and select the proper financial products. This site was prepared under the editorial supervision of Ms. Yoshiko Nakamura, a financial planner, and presents basic information on money, including managing household finances, saving money, and accomplishing other related objectives, taking account of future plans. The website presents a proposal for using Mizuho's Ouchi Account, which enables couples to manage their cash flow easily, and, by offering a range of other content, makes it possible for couples to learn how to manage their finances enjoyably, while also getting to know financial products and services and use them to meet their needs.

Since the launching of this website, MHBK has improved and expanded its content based on opinions and requests of other, user surveys, and analyses of access logs. In fiscal 2013, MHBK added several new sections related to key life events entitled "Soon We Will Be Married," "The Children's Money," and "We Want to Buy a Home." In addition, the website was fully redesigned to offer a greater diversity of information in easily understandable forms.

Presentation of Ouchi no Okane Seminars

To provide this information to more people, MHBK is holding seminars for employees of its corporate clients. MHBK prepares materials for these seminars that are customized to audience needs, and the content is drawn mainly from Ouchi no Okane. Speakers at the seminars are mainly MHBK employees, and they provide useful information on household financial management.

In addition, Mizuho has invited Ms. Yoshiko Nakamura, who is editor–in–chief of Ouchi no Okane, to speak at Ouchi no Okane seminars. At these seminars, she addresses such topics as how to approach planning for the future and the secrets a couple should know to help them increase their savings. If customers request it, she is also available for individual consultations after the seminars. All of these seminars held so far have been very well received by participants.

MHBK will continue to offer support and encouragement to couples embarking on a new married life and to those who want to prepare for major events in their lives and realize their dreams.

Photo

Ouchi no Okane seminar in progress

Voices of Seminar Participants

  • I have an interest, but the fact that I had not thought about it specifically made me realize I should think about it again (30–year–old woman).
  • I gained an understanding of what and how to save as well as an idea of how much (30–year–old man).
  • I learned how to keep records of household finances and the two of us decided to cooperate with one another (20–year–old woman).
  • I have a vague idea of how to accumulate savings, but your information gave me a more specific awareness (30–year–old man).

Voices of Interested Persons

Photo

Yoshiko Nakamura
Representative Director (Financial Planner)
Alpha & Associates LLC
Photography by Hideaki Isaka

As money matters become increasingly complicated, becoming more financially literate is necessary, but there is almost nowhere one can go to learn more. MHBK's Ouchi no Okane is an excellent platform for helping couples who have just gotten married and had children because it gives them information and knowledge as well as hints and tools that they can put into practice and used right away.

In the part titled, "Let's look inside your billfold," they were able to hear the actual comments of married couples with financial worries, including advice they received. This two–way communication was well received.

The products and services of banks are expanding in number and improving in quality year by year. The needs of consumers that banks could not respond to in the past are increasingly within the scope of services they can provide. I am looking forward to having MHBK take their perspective and, with Ouchi no Okane as one interface point, offer products and services they need.

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