Ignazio Visco: 2023 World Savings Day

Address by Mr Ignazio Visco, Governor of the Bank of Italy, at the 99th World Savings Day, organised by the Association of Italian Foundations and Savings Banks (ACRI), Rome, 31 October 2023.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
13 November 2023

Saving, and its natural counterpart, investment, are key factors in a country's balanced development. At individual level, saving makes it possible to transfer resources over time, 'putting income aside' to meet future needs, such as purchasing a house, children's education and joining a pension fund, to be less vulnerable when times are hard and to look ahead with confidence.

The acquisition of adequate financial skills is a form of investment in human capital that can increase the well-being of and the opportunities for people; it is all the more important in light of the large and rapid changes in financial innovation over the last 30 years, as well as the increasing digitalization of the markets. At the same time, it is the first necessary line of defence for savers who are increasingly required to make complex choices and sometimes to deal with high-risk products. The Bank of Italy is aware of the importance of financial literacy and has invested a great deal of resources in order to foster and disseminate it. I have often spoken about this, including in the recent past.

Savings are also, however, and perhaps above all a public good that can generate benefits for the community as a whole through the transfer of resources 'in space' from households to entrepreneurs and businesses. If they are used well, they make a crucial contribution to a country's economic growth by financing productive investment in physical, human and technological capital.