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Alfredo Garcia Encinas: “Youth under 18 lack from maturity to access finance”

How to make youth access to financial services? This will be one of the challenges of financial inclusion EU Summit to be held in Macedonia next week. Several Spanish students will attend the meeting thanks to the collaboration of Ibercampus and the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM).

The Third Annual Regional Meeting for Europe and Central Asia will be organized jointly by the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia and Child & Youth Finance International, and hosted by the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia.

The meeting will bring together leading experts, practitioners and innovators from the region who are engaged in the issues of financial access, financial inclusion and financial education for children and youth. Meeting participants will include senior representatives from Ministries of Education, Ministries of Finance, Central Banks, children´s rights organizations, multilateral agencies, the media, and educational and financial institutions.

Alfredo Garcia Encinas, 22 years old, is one of the Spanish students selected by the NGO Child and Youth Finance International to attend to the meeting. Alfredo Garcia will travel the 1st and 2nd of October to Macedonia with Mártinez Ana Arjona, Juan Yanez Stephanie Gittard, Councillor Sandra Jimenez, Kimberlyn Montilva Dario Serrano Puente, Carmen Rubio Ayuso and Adrian Medina.

Have you received financial education (ie: budgeting, savings, banking, business plans)?

As you know I´m finishing my degree of Economics and during these four years I have completed several subjets in financial education. These include; politics economics, business economics-finance, economic structure, budgetary policy, monetary policy, international finance and strategic management and finally banks (that I´ll study next January in my Erasmus in Lisbon). Also on my own I have taken a course of “stock market and other financial markets” and finance courses taught by Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG.

Do you believe that children under 18 should have access to financial services (ie: savings account)? Why or why not?

I am fourth year student of Economics in the Cooperative Education Program at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Nowadays, I´m doing my university´s internship in a professional services firm; Ernst & Young, department "Assourance" for eight months doing tasks and services of accounting audit.

From my point of view I think a young person under 18 has neither the maturity or knowledge to manage and use a bank account. This implies not only know the current balance, but also, to know all the options available in your account in a bank. You can make domestic and international transfers, control your credit cards, take out insurance and pension plans, investment funds, stock exchanges and other markets and shares to buy and sell currencies. All these operations are quite complex even for students of economics and other finance related degrees can be complicated. I do not believe that someone so young and with so little knowledge and experience can get to control this.

What do you see as the main financial challenge that young people face today in your country?

Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 the crisis spread to Europe and worsened in Spain extending to today. It´s six years leading this new "Great Depression" and many problems it has caused. Increase in public debt, increased the risk premium and interest that Spain has to pay to finance and education cuts affecting training and opportunity to young people. All this without mentioning our main problem, unemployment and unsustainable youth unemployment rate of over 50% has come to reach our country for several years causing the mass exodus of young talent with various races and languages ​​abroad for a better life and opportunities.

In the summer of 2012, Spain injected liquidity into their banks to try to restructure and clean them up as well to provide credit to households and SMEs as their balance sheets were full of toxic assets and overvalued property; today most of the projects remain unfunded. In summary, these are the challenges that still, Spain and especially young people, we face.

Why would you like to attend the Regional Meeting as a Youth Participant?

I had heard of the second meeting was organized in Frankfort and I kept wanting to attend. This year I did not hesitate for a second and I am convinced it will be a great experience, I learn many things about this great world of finance which fascinates me and I´ll be able to share a few minutes with great representatives and European authorities various ministries and various international organizations. It´s also a great opportunity to travel to a country where I´ve never been and meet people my age from different countries in Europe.

Do you have prior experience participating in national/international youth conferences? 

In my country I have attended numerous national conferences both politicians and former ministers, last presidents and presidents, economists, etc. Internationally, I only had an opportunity to attend a conference in Boston of great economists and Nobel prize economics at Harvard University.

Of interest