Contact: Alana Golden,California Department of Financial Institutions, Public Information Officer
(916) 323-7012 or (916) 322-5966
Susie Wong, California Department of Corporations
(916) 324-9100 www.dfi.ca.gov
GOV. SCHWARZENEGGER PROCLAIMS APRIL 2006 "CALIFORNIA FINANCIAL LITERACY MONTH" Department of Financial Institutions and Department of Corporations join together to urge Californians to "Prepare Now for a Strong Financial Future"
SACRAMENTO-The state Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the state Department of Corporations (DOC) will partner during this year's annual California Financial Literacy Month to highlight the month's theme of "Prepare Now for a Strong Financial Future." Efforts to coordinate and expand financial literacy will help to raise awareness of the importance of financial education and consumer protection. Californians' consumer debt level and low savings rate underscores the great need for consumers to obtain the necessary skills and financial education to improve their economic futures.
Californians' personal income grew 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005 from the previous quarter, according to estimates released on March 28, 2006, by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Despite the growth in personal income, the total loans to individuals during the past year, including credit card debt, grew by an 18.7 percent annual rate, based on information by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's insured financial institutions in California. In addition, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that the personal savings rate nationwide was a negative 0.7 percent in January 2006.
"Financial education not only protects our citizens from fraud, but also empowers them to achieve their dreams," said acting Corporations Commissioner Wayne Strumpfer. "Serious financial issues can negatively affect consumers economic well-being and prosperity."
"Financial literacy is a process beginning with education and understanding," said acting Financial Institutions Commissioner Brian Yuen. "We realize this goal by educating the public about all aspects of financial security through our coalition of major public- and private-sector partners."
During California Financial Literacy Month, DFI and DOC will be involved in events and activities to highlight such financial literacy themes as savings and investment, fraud and financial abuse, credit and lending, and financial readiness.
For more information on California Financial Literacy Month, please see the attached proclamation, or visit DFI's Web site at www.dfi.ca.gov.
DFI supervises more than 700 financial institutions. The Department is responsible for administering state laws regulating state-licensed financial institutions including banks, credit unions industrial banks, savings associations, trust companies, offices of foreign banks, issuers of travelers' checks and payment instruments (money orders), and transmitters of money abroad.
DOC is California's investment and financing authority and is responsible for the regulation, enforcement, and licensing of securities, franchises, off-exchange commodities, investment and financial services, independent escrows, consumer and commercial finance lending, residential mortgage lending, and payday lenders. Contact our toll-free consumer resource center at 1-866-ASK-CORP (275-2677) for information or to obtain a consumer complaint form.
Click here to view the Governor's Proclamation. (PDF)