Almost 1,000 Lithuanian residents have attended personal finance workshops organised by the Bank of Lithuania in three cities – Vilnius, Kaunas, and Klaipėda. Workshop participants were mainly interested in the principles of responsible borrowing for house purchase and the possibilities to use state-of-the-art financial services.
‘The issue of borrowing for house purchase is especially relevant for youths and young families. Workshop participants were taken by surprise that, prior to signing a long-term financial liability (housing loan) agreement, some ‘homework’ needs to be done. It is important to not only assess future changes in quality of life and habits, when instalments will already have to be paid, but also to live at least for half a year, or for a whole year (which would be best), accumulating the instalments,’ says Mindaugas Šalčius, Director of the Financial Services and Market Supervision Department.
Workshop participants heard detailed explanations as to what should be taken into account when concluding a loan agreement, what the rights and obligations of the financial services provider are, and how to negotiate more favourable loan terms and conditions.
One more highly relevant issue the participants took a particular interest in was new financial services, their benefits and risks. Workshop participants were introduced to new borrowing and investment possibilities that open up through using peer-to-peer lending platforms and crowdfunding. Residents were also interested in innovative payment methods such as contactless proximity payments, mobile ‘wallet’, and virtual currencies.
Finance experts Odeta Bložienė, Žilvinas Butkevičius, Jekaterina Govina, Arnas Markevičius, Dr Lukas Macijauskas, Loreta Načajienė, Rasa Rambynaitė and Šarūnas Ruzgys shared their experience during these workshops organised by the Bank of Lithuania.
The absolute majority of workshop participants claimed they would use the knowledge acquired in managing personal finances and investing.
The workshops are organised while implementing the Bank of Lithuania’s financial education programme, the purpose of which is to increase the financial literacy of the population, to encourage interest in the management of personal finances, and to take rational financial decisions.