Finance and Investment

national financial literacy survey (2021 - ongoing)

Joint study with Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB)

This is the third financial literacy survey that CSPS is conducting (previously in 2015 and 2018).

The main objectives are: (i) to measure the level of financial literacy in three key areas of knowledge, attitude, and behaviour; (ii) to compare the findings to the results of the previous waves of the survey and monitor progress; and (iii) to assess the relationship between the demographic characteristics and the level of financial knowledge and attitudes.

A national survey of 1,500 households is planned to begin in March 2022.

national financial literacy survey (2018)

Joint study with Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB)

This project is the second wave of the national financial literacy survey.

The survey findings show that financial literacy has declined since the first survey in 2015. Much of the decline has been due to worsening financial attitudes (people are focusing more on present consumption needs than saving for the future) and behaviours (lower levels of active and informed financial market participation). Meanwhile, financial knowledge did not change significantly compared to 2015. Target groups and policy priorities remained similar to the 2015 survey.

implementation updates on the 2015 white paper on making brunei darussalam the preferred holiday destination for all (2018)

Joint study with Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB)

Three years after the 2015 White Paper on Making Brunei Darussalam the Preferred Holiday Destination for All, this study follows up on the implementation to assess the impact of the white paper.

The implementation review shows some progress towards the development of the Jerudong Integrated Leisure Destination, Bandar Seri Begawan City Development, and Temburong District. However, there has been little progress in developing theatres in the country.

Policy recommendations include endorsement of the White Paper at the highest level, a centralised body to oversee and coordinate the proposed initiatives, and identifying champions from government agencies to own the identified projects.

Financial Literacy Survey and National Strategy (2016)

Joint study with Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB)

This project is the first national financial literacy study.

The national survey has a statistically representative sample of approximately 1,500 households, and is used to measure financial literacy by analysing knowledge, attitude, and behaviour of Bruneians using metrics that are internationally comparable. The survey covered five financial literacy domains: (i) financial inclusion; (ii) budget planning and savings; (iii) bank account management; (iv) selection of financial products; and (v) financial understanding.

The survey finds that nearly half of the Bruneians in the sample did not achieve a sufficient score in financial knowledge. They lacked numeracy skills and understanding of the compound interest mechanism. Most individuals had positive attitudes toward planning for the future, but this did not translate to behaviour change due to poor knowledge and lack of financial resources. The most common at-risk behaviours were lack of information before purchase, late bill payment, inadequate family budget, and lack of an active saving culture.

The recommended national strategy has been adopted by AMBD to promote financial literacy in the country, and is included in the fifth pillar of the Brunei Darussalam Financial Sector Blueprint 2016-2025.

White Paper on Reducing Cross Border Expenditure by Making Brunei the Preferred Holiday Destination for All by 2020 (2015)

Joint study with Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB)

This study addresses how to improve the leisure and recreational options in Brunei so that locals will choose the country as the preferred holiday destination.

Surveys of locals and foreign visitors were conducted to provide empirical data and recommendations for the white paper, in addition to focus group interviews and workshops with the wider community.

The white paper proposes four strategic initiatives that are low-cost and can be completed in a short to medium term of 10 years: (i) Jerudong Integrated Leisure Destination: Marine and Leisure Park; (ii) Bandar Seri Begawan City Development: Kg Ayer Cultural Park and Heritage Trail; (iii) Five National Theatres for Brunei; and (iv) Temburong Eco Sanctuary Resort and Nature Adventure.

Cross Border Expenditure of Bruneians in Miri, Sarawak (2015)

This study examines the expenditure of Bruneians in the East Malaysian border town of Miri to understand the levels, patterns, and reasons of spending outside the country.

A survey of 594 groups of Brunei visitors to Miri was conducted. The survey findings show that Bruneians spent on average B$ 205.16 per group per trip, which corresponded to a total of B$ 61.3 million a year. Although shopping for necessities in Miri is a significant among low-income Bruneians, a large number of Bruneians also visited Miri as a preferred leisure and entertainment venue.

This study emphasises the need to improve the competitiveness of the domestic retail sector for more variety and price competitiveness of goods and services, encourage inward cross-border shopping and tourism, improve domestic leisure and entertainment offerings to encourage Bruneians to spend their leisure time in Brunei, increase the liveability of the Belait District, enhance customs enforcement, review fiscal measures, and revise social policy towards improving access to necessities for low-income groups.

brunei pension and social security (2007)

Joint study with AIG and World Bank

This study addresses the need for a more sustainable pension scheme and to encourage private sector employment, hence reducing the government’s fiscal burden.

Among the main recommendations are: (i) additional social security to complement the Employee Provident Fund (TAP) to reduce the fiscal burden and to make the private sector more attractive to locals, and (ii) increase the mandatory retirement age for citizens and permanent residents from 55 to 60.

Both recommendations have been applied by the Government, leading to the introduction of the Supplementary Contributory Pension (SCP) scheme and the enactment of the Retirement Age Order, 2010.