Thursday, May 20, 2004

North Dakota Securities Commissioner Karen Tyler today outlined for the federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission the important role states play in providing financial education to help people from all walks of life build financial knowledge and security.

State securities regulators share a common concern and a common commitment with the members of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission. We share your concern about the deficient level of financial literacy in this country and the impact it has on personal financial decision-making. And we also share a common dedication and commitment to doing something about it, said Tyler, who also serves as the Investor Education Chairperson for the North American Securities Administrators Association, (NASAA), the national association of state and provincial securities regulators.

Tyler addressed the Commission, chaired by U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, at its meeting in Washington. She highlighted several state-level financial education initiatives, including:

  • The NASAA Youth Outreach Project Group's creation of a program blueprint for NASAA members to use in developing and hosting teacher-training academies. Through teacher training academies, we help teachers develop the knowledge they need to effectively teach personal finance. Concepts, and we provide them with the tools and resources they need to efficiently deliver financial education to their students, starting as early as Kindergarten through the 12th grade, Tyler said.
  • The NASAA Senior Outreach Project Group's anti-fraud program is being developed based on a highly successful initiative that was launched by California securities regulators two years ago. Tyler noted that seniors are increasingly targeted for investment fraud. I want to emphasize that this is an area of great concern for state securities regulators, she said. The anti-fraud program development guide will be delivered to the full NASAA membership in November of this year, and the group will facilitate the rollout of effective, peer-based, anti-fraud education programs across our member jurisdictions.

Tyler also told the commission that state securities regulators, through NASAA, look for opportunities to join forces with other members of the financial education community. On a regular basis NASAA members work with the American Savings Education Council, and many of our members are involved in state level Jumpstart Coalitions, she said. We have also collaborated with the Department of Labor, the Department of Defense, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The NASAA network of financial education professionals can be an excellent delivery vehicle for state/federal collaborative education programs.

The Financial Literacy and Education Commission's goal is to promote financial education and improve the financial literacy of all Americans. The legislation that created the Financial Literacy and Education Commission calls for, among other things, the development of a national strategy to promote financial literacy and education.

Tyler pledged her support for the Commission's goals. State securities regulators stand ready to assist the Commission and serve as a resource, as you move forward in developing and implementing a national strategy to improve the level of financial literacy in this country, Tyler said.

The Commission is composed of the Secretary of the Treasury and the heads of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; the Office of Thrift Supervision; the Federal Reserve; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; the National Credit Union Administration; the Securities and Exchange Commission; the Departments Education, Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, and Veterans Affairs; the Federal Trade Commission; the General Services Administration; the Small Business Administration; the Social Security Administration; the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and the Office of Personnel Management.

For full testimony here NASAA