Financial Literacy Survey and National Strategy

This is a study commissioned by Authority Monetary Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) and the objectives of this study were:

  • To measure the level of financial literacy. This was done primarily with the use of a specially designed national survey of the adult population (the Financial Literacy Survey).
  • To provide policy recommendations, best practices and a national strategy for promoting financial literacy.

Six target groups for the National Strategy were identified: young adults, the elderly, people with low or unstable income, inactive or unemployed adults, people with lower education, and indigenous groups.

The Financial Literacy Survey is the first and only national study on financial literacy in Brunei Darussalam. The findings constitute the baseline for future measurement of progress in financial literacy, and allows for international benchmarking.

Nearly half of the Bruneians do not achieve a sufficient score in the Financial Knowledge area. Bruneians are particularly lacking in numeracy skills and understanding of the compound interest mechanism. Most individuals have positive attitudes toward planning for the future, but positive attitudes do not necessarily translate into behaviour change because of poor knowledge and lack of financial resources. The most common at-risk behaviours were identified as follows: lack of information before purchase, late bills payment, inadequate family budget, lack of active saving behaviour.

The recommended strategy includes four policy themes: Financial Education; Financial Information and Advice; Institutional Design; Governance, Networking, and Evaluation.

The recommended National Strategy, based on these findings, has been adopted by AMBD to promote financial literacy in the country, and it is included in the fifth pillar of the Brunei Darussalam Financial Sector Blueprint 2016-2025.

A CSPS forum on Financial Literacy was held in Oct 2015. This study has been published as a CSPS Report in 2016.