Filipinos’ ‘financial quotient’ highest in 5 years — Citi surveyBy Michelle V. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The “financial quotient” of Filipinos hit an all-time high of 52.6 points in 2011 as more people in the country have been engaging in savings, investments, and better credit management.
This was according to results of the latest annual “Fin-Q Survey” by Citi, which also reported that 2011 was the first time Filipinos at least exceeded the passing score of 50 points (out of 100) since the survey was launched in 2007.
According to the international financial services firm, “financial quotient” is a measure of the financial well being of respondents, who, in this case, were all over 18 years old and either owning a bank account or holding a credit card.
Financial quotient is determined by the responses of survey participants to finance-related questions, such as on their spending and credit habits, and tendency to save and invest, among others.
“The survey numbers in the Philippines are indeed very encouraging. The results show that Filipinos are becoming more determined to take charge of their finances and are responsible users of credit,” Sanjiv Vohra, Citi’s country officer for the Philippines, said in a statement.
“Filipinos are also looking at investments in the form of cash, real estate and insurance to ensure a comfortable retirement,” Vohra also said.
Results of the survey showed that 60 percent of Filipino respondents reported that they paid their outstanding credit card balances in full amount on a monthly basis. This is a significant improvement from the 12 percent registered the previous year.
Also, average retirement savings amounted to P1.56 million, up by 11 percent from the previous P1.4 million. In relation to this, 42 percent said they saved money every time they got their salaries or other forms of income.
Moreover, 70 percent of the Filipino respondents said they had experienced using the internet and/or their mobile phones to do banking transactions. In addition, 52 percent of the Filipino respondents—the highest percentage seen among countries covered by the survey—said they actually preferred doing bank transactions electronically over personally visiting bank branches.
Over 60 percent of the Filipino respondents said they felt better off in terms of their financial standing compared with that in the previous year.
Also, 80 percent said they felt either “very optimistic” or “optimistic” about their financial standing in the future.
On Asia Pacific consumers as a whole, Citi said the financial quotient of respondents in the region stood at 54.5 percent, an improvement from the previous year’s 53.2 percent.
Vohra said the improving financial quotient of consumers in the Philippines and other Asia-Pacific countries showed efforts to promote financial literacy. He cited Citi, which he said has been holding financial literacy programs to countries where it operates.
The survey by Citi had 500 respondents in each of the covered countries, which included the Philippines, Australia, India, Indonesia, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
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