The total cost for the Swedish society regarding people that are over indebted, is estimated to be 30-50 billion Swedish kronor per year.
About 400,000 Swedes are considered to be having difficulties in paying their monthly bills. As the global economic turbulence sweeps across Sweden, the need for financial literacy has never been more urgent, so Citibank is launching the web based tool "Kreditguiden," as a way to increase the accessibility of high qualitative financial education material to all Swedes.
In a report from the Swedish Enforcement agency (Alla vill göra rätt för sig/"We all would like to pay for ourselves") it is stated that approximately 6-9% of the Swedish population has problems paying their monthly bills. It also says that people being over indebted have 35% worse health than the average Swede. This results in hospital costs of about eight billion Swedish kronor and a production decrease of about 22-44 billion. The overall costs for Swedish society is estimated by the Swedish Enforcement agency to be somewhere between 30-50 billion Swedish kronor per year.
Citibank's experiences from over 200 million customers in more than 100 countries are essential as it comes to bringing relevant knowledge in personal finance to Swedes. Hence Citibank is launching a web based tool in financial education that is open for everybody.
"Reading this report and reflecting over the current events in the financial markets clearly indicates the importance of being financially literate. It is up to each individual to work on this but we feel a responsibility to increase the accessibility of high quality educational material," says Nick Talwar Country Business Manager Citibank Sweden. "Hence we are launching 'Kreditguiden,' a web based financial educational tool kit."
By using the budget and loan calculators and by following the instructions from the guide, anyone can get quick and qualitative information on issues regarding their finances. Some areas in focus are how to get out of debt and how to avoid being a victim of fraud.
The Swedish Enforcement agency further states that people being over indebted is a problem that does not correlate to whether someone is considered to be rich or poor. It has to do with the margins rather than the income.
"This indicates that people in all parts of the society are having problems paying their bills and a solution should involve parties from both the public and the private sectors," says Nick Talwar. "The banks definitely have an important role to play and a web tool like 'Kreditguiden' makes it easy for people to search for knowledge at their own convenience."