MasterCard ( has announced the results of its latest Index of Financial Literacy, which reveals that consumers in Lebanon are on par with their peers in the Middle East when it comes to financial literacy. Lebanese respondents have increased their ranking in the financial planning component from 3rd place in 2010 to 2nd place in 2012; they have also gone up from 4th place in 2010 to 3rd place in 2012 in the investment component.

The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 with 11,376 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 25 countries. This is the 3rd survey of Financial Literacy conducted since 2010. The survey polled consumers on three aspects of financial literacy including their basic money management skills, investment knowledge and financial planning to determine the level of basic money management skills in terms of budgeting, savings, and responsibility of credit usage. The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.

Consumers in Lebanon ranked 4th in the Middle East with a score of 61 index points in the MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy. Respondents scored well on the financial planning component of the Index (66%), and were particularly well prepared when it came to saving regularly and investing in insurance. The financial planning scores were followed by basic money management (61%) and investment (55%). Respondents’ investment score improved from 54% in 2010, and their overall financial literacy score (61 index points) was on par with the Middle East aggregate level.

“Being financially literate calls for the ability to make well-informed financial decisions and to manage risks not just for oneself but also for one’s family. While the MasterCard Index reveals that Lebanese consumers are on par with the aggregate financial literacy levels in the region, it remains important to further promote financial management skills amongst consumers,” said Basel El Tell, vice president and regional manager, Levant, MasterCard Worldwide. “MasterCard will continue to champion financial literacy with initiatives like the It’s My Business program that we have launched with INJAZ Al-Arab to train Arab youth in work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.”

Middle East highlights:

• The Middle East’s aggregate financial literacy score decreased slightly from 63 index points in 2010 to 61 index points in 2012.
• Consumers in the Middle East scored highest in terms of knowledge about financial planning (64%) followed by basic money management (62%) and investment (54%).
• While slight disparities exist, men and women were largely on par in terms of financial literacy in the Middle East. In Lebanon, women achieved higher scores than men (62% vs. 60%), though only marginally so.
• Age does not seem to significantly affect levels of financial literacy as respondents under 30 years of age as well as those over 30 years of age showed the same level of financial literacy (61 index points) in the Middle East.

Other market highlights:

• Egypt (69 index points) was ranked the top Middle East market with respect to the overall financial literacy index score, followed by Saudi Arabia (62 index points), the UAE (61 index points) and Lebanon (61 index points).
• Egypt took the lead in terms of basic money management (75%), followed by Saudi Arabia (65%) and Lebanon (61%).
• Egypt also ranked first for financial planning (70%), followed by Lebanon (66%) the UAE (65%) and Oman (65%).
• The UAE scored highest in the investment component of the survey (57%), followed by Qatar (55%) and Lebanon (55%).

Financial Planning Amongst Lebanese Consumers On The Rise: MasterCard Survey

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