Slideshows | May 14, 2012

Are Italians more financially competent than Brits?

Do the French overestimate how much they know about money? Do the Spanish think men or women are better at controlling the purse strings?

The ING International Survey on Financial Competence polled 11,077 people in 11 countries to discover how much we know about interest rates, inflation, mortgages and more. And some of the results may come as a surprise.



Italians were the most likely of 11 the nationalities polled in the ING International Survey on Financial Competence to be very careful managing their money, with 76% saying they check credit card bills, bank statements and other documents thoroughly every month.


Britons were the least likely to have had financial education, with only 48% - or fewer than half – saying they had hit the books, had money lessons from family or at school or some other form of financial education.


Polish were the most eager to teach themselves about money, with 67% saying they read internet and press reports and listened to TV or radio reports to get financial education.


In Spain in particular, women were seen as financially savvy. Forty-nine percent of respondents in Spain said women were better at managing money and only 7% said men were (the rest said there was no difference between the sexes).


The French were perhaps the most realistic about their level of financial knowledge. They tended to avoid overestimating – or underestimating – their understanding of money matters, with 59% saying they “knew about the same” amount as others in their country about money.


Turkish people were the most likely to get 80% or more on our financial competence test. But the rate of 80%-plus results was close between of all of the 11 countries, with only 10 percentage points between the highest (Turkey) and lowest (Austria).


The Dutch, Austrians and people from Luxembourg tended to be the most satisfied with their life overall at the moment, with more than 60% rating their satisfaction at least eight out of 10. But, in general, people who scored well in the financial competence test were not necessarily happier with their lives.

This article is related to the ING International Survey:

Financial Competence 2012

Financial Competence 2012

April 1, 2012

How many of us can correctly answer questions about interest rates, inflation, mortgages and more? Does “financial competence” make a difference to our satisfaction with life? The ING International Survey on...


eZonomics team
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