Filipinos are more optimistic about their financial future and had better access to education, but still have a lot to learn about banking and financial habits, according to a survey by international financial services group Citi.

The group’s annual ‘Fin-Q’ (Financial Quotient) survey consists of 40 questions and measures attitudes towards financial decision-making and financial habits. The Philippines recorded a Fin-Q score of only 48.5 out of 100–a little lower than last’s year’s 49 but higher than previous years, including 46.6 in 2008.

There were more encouraging signs too: 82% of respondents expressed optimism about their financial future, 71% thought they were better off than their parents at the same age, and 56% said they understood how much they needed to set aside for the future in savings. Optimism was highest among Filipinos earning P700,000 (US$16,240) or more a year.

69% also said their credit card played “an important role in helping manage finances” and 48% paid off their outstanding balance every month. Though 40% said they were confident they had enough savings to support them for three months, the Philippines average savings reserve was only about nine weeks’ worth.

Citi said despite the overall Fin-Q score remaining low, the results showed Filipinos were getting better access to financial education, improving their financial literacy, and that attitudes and behavior towards finances in the country were improving.

source & article: Citi, The Philippine Star