The National Bank of Ukraine has unveiled Harazd, a financial literacy website. Its launch comes as one of the steps on the way to raising financial awareness and protecting the rights of financial institutions’ clients. Both are the NBU’s priorities.
The Harazd educational website is a free online platform that will enable Ukrainians to acquire a level of financial knowledge sufficient to make responsible decisions regarding personal finances.
"We are introducing Harazd, a long-awaited large social project that is essentially an educational website on financial literacy. The word harazd (the Ukrainian for okay) is very relatable to Ukrainians. Harazd is an accessible and convenient tool that teaches financial literacy by providing answers to complex questions about the financial market in a consistent manner and in plain language. We hope that educators will primarily use it to raise financial literacy in both young people and the more experienced generation. Our goal is to make Ukrainians more stable financially and prepare them for various financial challenges. Through this effort, the NBU also contributes to economic growth, as financial literacy is a guarantee of the financial well-being of households and an important prerequisite for financial stability," said NBU Governor Andriy Pyshnyy.
Ukrainians have found themselves facing multiple new challenges as the war grinds on. Rising up to them requires having a certain level of financial awareness and knowledge of how to manage personal finances. The challenges include a growing number of cases of payment fraud, cybercrime, social engineering, the need to preserve the value of savings, the need to optimize a personal or family budget, and the need to develop financial risk management skills.
The financial literacy website’s main advantage is therefore that it offers practical value to every Ukrainian. Using this platform, consumers of financial services will be able to find working solutions to real-world problems of everyday life: from making a deposit or taking out a loan to planning one’s budget to getting one’s kids educated in basic finance.
The online platform is made up of six major sections: Money, Financial Planning, Deposits, Loans, Fraud, and Insurance. The website also has two special dynamic sections: Lifehacks and Question of the Day. The latter gives answers to the most popular questions from consumers about deposits, loans, debt collectors, insurance, card fraud, and more. The Lifehacks section offers tips on how to effectively use financial services and manage one’s finances. It is noteworthy that the website features no commercial advertising and no financial service promotions.
The Harazd website already had more than 170 articles posted on it at the time of launch, but the platform will continue to grow, as will the number of publications, sections, and topics. In addition, the website allows visitors to take one general and six thematic tests to determine their level of financial literacy. When a test reveals educational gaps, the platform offers a list of articles that can make the reader better equipped to navigate the maelstrom of financial information.
The educational website Harazd was created by the NBU with the support of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as part of the four-year technical assistance program Financial Inclusion for Economic Growth. The program is being implemented in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Good Governance Fund (GGF), a technical assistance project funded by the British government.
"Among the economic challenges caused by russia’s invasion of Ukraine, raising financial literacy in the country is becoming increasingly important. That is why we supported the National Bank of Ukraine in creating this new platform. It will provide Ukrainians with the necessary financial skills, which will enable them to more effectively cope with the difficulties of this time," said Lisa Kestner, IFC’s Regional Manager for Ukraine and Moldova.
Support in the implementation of the project was provided by the EU technical assistance project Strengthening the Regulation and Supervision of the Nonbank Financial Market (EU-FINREG).
"Financial literacy is important for everyone: each consumer individually, development of the financial market, but also public trust and financial stability of Ukraine," said Mira Eric-Jovic, Team Leader of EU technical assistance project Strengthening the Regulation and Supervision of the Nonbank Financial Market (EU-FINREG).
For more about the Harazd website, go to https://harazd.bank.gov.ua/.
In September 2019, the NBU was authorized to promote financial literacy among the public. This mandate is enshrined in the Law of Ukraine On the National Bank of Ukraine (Article 7 paragraph 35).
More about the IFC is available at www.ifc.org.
The international technical assistance project Strengthening the Regulation and Supervision of the Nonbank Financial Market (EU-FINREG) (17 November 2017 – 16 July 2023) was aimed at creating a powerful environment for the development of nonbank financial services. The project provided assistance to Ukrainian authorities in harmonizing with EU standards and practices the Ukrainian regulatory framework and methods for supervision in relation to transactions with securities and investments, insurance, pensions, nonbank lending institutions, nonbank payment institutions, and other nonbank financial services. More on this is available here.