Bank of Valletta, through its membership of the Malta Bankers’ Association (MBA), has actively collaborated in the MBA’s partnership with ĠEMMA in a pilot project to increase financial literacy among the elderly. The Bank’s Training Centre in Gzira hosted a group of senior citizens who visited the premises during an activity organised by the Paola Local Council. The group of 40 plus attendees were accompanied by the mayor Dominic Grima.

 

Noel Scerri, Head of the Bank’s Operations addressed the attendees during the morning session. They were shown educational clips intended to elicit discussions about modes of cashless payments and their related benefits, as well as precautions one can take to safeguard against third parties with malicious intent. “One can never overemphasise the importance of educating the market. We understand that the shift to cashless transactions may be daunting. That is why we organise such activities for small groups so that they can discuss with their peers and with us, air their concerns and familiarise themselves with the tools available”, said Noel Scerri.

 

This sentiment was corroborated by Rita Sammut Buontempo, Assistant Secretary General at the Malta Bankers’ Association, who was also present for the session. “It is critical that in today’s world of self-service banking, we ensure that nobody falls victim to the digital divide. Such sessions help in boosting the confidence of senior citizens and help them become more financial literate”, she said.

 

Petra Marie Ellul-Mercer who is responsible for the Project Development at ĠEMMA gave a brief overview of the ĠEMMA programme that was set up in 2019 as a muti-stakeholder working group focusing on launching campaigns to promote awareness on retirement income and financial capability. Since then, ĠEMMA has among other initiatives, launched interactive calculators to help people manage their finances, collaborated in outreach events like this one, and drawn up resources for teachers and parents to disseminate such information.

 

In his conclusion Noel Scerri stated that “Bank of Valletta is an avid supporter of education in Malta. Considerable effort is made in supporting education programmes for various age groups. We organise numerous educational sessions relating to finances and investments, both for the general public and the business community. These dovetail with our commitment towards ESG, which will see the Bank taking a more active role in supporting continuous learning and upskilling, even more so for vulnerable groups.

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