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2014-05-12

OP-Pohjola Group Survey: Finance tool in the pocket - smartphones is increasing their role in managing personal finances

According to the Financial Literacy Survey commissioned by OP-Pohjola, up to
one-tenth of Finns use a mobile application that makes it easier to monitor
personal finances.
Following financial and economic/business issues is also becoming more common
through social media.
The role of schools as the most important provider of advice in financial and
economic issues will grow.

According to the survey results, people are more active in following financial
and economic/business news. The proportion of people following financial and
economic/business issues at least on a weekly basis increased from 59% a year
ago to 65%. People also tend to increasingly follow up on financial and
economic information through social media.

In particular, the use of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter is particularly
visible among young people. Half of young people say that they follow
financial and economic/business news on Facebook, whereas business and
financial discussion boards, blogs and Linkedln attract incipient interest
evenly among all age groups.

An application that makes it easier to monitor personal finances on mobile
phones or tablets is used by over one-tenth of people, with young people
showing a markedly higher proportion.

- During the digital age, it is easier and easier to follow financial and
business issues in a manner that suits people best, irrespective of time and
place. We expect that 25% of the Finns will be users of a mobile application
by the end of 2014 that makes it easier to monitor and plan personal
finances, such as OP-mobile and Pivo, says economistMaarit
Lindström
of OP-Pohjola.

- Mobile applications for easier management of personal finances are becoming
a commonplace. At their best, they will create a new type of customer
experience, highlighting user-friendliness and adaptability to changing
needs. This also helps users to learn and supports the management and
decision-making of their personal finances.

Schools will play a growing role in providing advice

The financial literacy index remained unchanged over the previous year. The
index for those of over 50 years of age is considerably better than that for
other age groups. The clear majority of those in older age groups feel that
they can manage well personal finances and their planning.

Only every other young person feels the same and only 25% say that news about
financial and economic issues is clear and understandable. The survey results
also reveal that young people feel, in more cases than the older generation,
that they should improve skills related to personal finances and financial
planning.

Finns still consider banks their most important advisor in the planning of
personal finances. However, the role of banks is thought to have decreased
and that of schools to have increased. Education, advice from the family and
friends and social media have a highly visible role among young people, in
particular.

- I think that the increasing role of schools is positive. All young people
should have the opportunity to acquire skills in the management of personal
finances and the basics of finance and economics irrespective of their
background. Enhancing financial literacy before making major financial
decisions in life is important to the younger generation that will bear more
personal responsibility for its financial future than their parents did, says
Lindström.

Working hard, selecting job and having education as success factors

More than half (55%) of the respondents feel that the current economic
situation has influenced their spending, as against 42% a year ago.
Two-thirds (62%) of the respondents and up to 47% of young people say that
they have prepared for a deterioration of their financial standing.

Almost one-third of the respondents say that planning personal finances often
causes anxiety. However, young respondents are more optimistic about the
economic outlook and the progress of their financial standing.

- Finns think that working hard, selecting a job and acquiring proper
education form the top three aspects when assessing factors for personal
prosperity. An appetite for success is also highly visible among young
people, sums up Lindström.

- It is great that Finns identify their opportunities in factors in which they
can have a significant influence.

Conducted by TNS Gallup and commissioned by OP-Pohjola Group, the Financial
Literacy Survey was carried out as an online survey in the TNS Gallup Forum
panel with 1,671 respondents forming a representative sample of active
population at the age of 18-69 years. A supplementary sample of young people
at the age of 18-26 years (n=300) was collected for the survey. This was the
fourth time the survey was conducted.

More information on the survey results can be found in OP-Pohjola Nyt
(OP-Pohjola Now) at www.op.fi/uutishuone (in Finnish).

For more information, please contact:
Maarit Lindström, Vice President, Economist, OP-Pohjola, tel. +358 (0)531 8262

OP-Pohjola Group is Finland's leading financial services group providing a
unique range of banking, investment and insurance services.
The Group's mission is to promote the prosperity, well-being and security of
its owner-members, customers and operating regions through its local
presence.
Its objective is to offer the best and most versatile package of loyal
customer benefits on the market.
OP-Pohjola Group consists of some 180 member cooperative banks and the Group's
central institution, OP-Pohjola Group Central Cooperative, with its
subsidiaries and closely-related companies, the largest of which is the
listed company Pohjola Bank plc.
The Group has a staff of 12,000.
OP-Pohjola Group posted earnings before tax of EUR 705 million in 2013 and had
total assets of EUR 101 billion on 31 December 2013. The Group has 4.3
million customers. www.op.fi

Appendix to the press release on the Financial Literacy Survey 2014
http://hugin.info/142911/R/1784405/611423.pdf

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This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Pohjola Pankki Oyj via Globenewswire

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