Fostering China’s financial derivatives market through financial literacy

By: Harry You & Phoebe Zhang, Managing Director & Senior Manager, International Business Development, China Financial Futures Exchange Dec 2021

China Financial Futures Exchange (CFFEX) is a financial derivatives only exchange in Mainland China. It is committed to offering safe, efficient and well-functioning financial derivative products and services, and facilitating the sound transfer and allocation of financial risks. Embedded in its mission is also the commitment to provide insightful, enlightening and engaging education to market participants and the public about the prudent use of financial derivatives. It puts great emphasis on investor education, especially for future investors and practitioners, to facilitate a growing market and build a knowledgeable investor base.   

CFFEX Cup Financial Knowledge Competition  

The Exchange, together with China Futures Association (CFA), has been holding “CFFEX Cup” for seven consecutive years since 2014. It was mainly designed for university and college students, both at home and abroad, to build and expand their financial derivatives knowledge. This event has become one of the most renowned financial knowledge competitions in recent years, and is increasingly popular among the student community. So far, it has attracted over 240,000 participants from 1,230 universities and colleges world-wide, including most of the top notch universities and finance and economics colleges in China.  

To increase engagement, CFFEX has been promoting this event continuously through various channels. Over the last seven years, CFFEX, together with its members, has held 2100 workshops and roadshows in over 200 universities and colleges, attracting participation by over 200,000 students. Meanwhile, the Exchange has also launched dedicated columns for “CFFEX Cup” on mainstream finance websites, including Xinhua net, Sina, and Sohu, etc. These columns contain vast amount of learning materials and literacy documents on financial derivatives.  They help students and the public understand futures and options, and their benefits to the overall financial ecosystem.  

In addition to acquiring knowledge, “CFFEX Cup” also offers an opportunity for students to gain firsthand experience in the financial derivatives industry. For the prize winners, CFFEX offers big opportunities. Each year, the Exchange and CFA coordinate with financial institutions to offer hundreds of internships to the winning students. During the summer camps, the Exchange also organizes activities such as lectures by industry experts and visiting tours to exchanges and financial institutions.   

Financial Derivatives Courses with Universities and Colleges 

Together with its members, CFFEX has developed multiple financial derivatives courses in cooperation with dozens of universities and colleges across China. Many of these courses have been included in the academic credit system. We aim to develop a national financial derivatives higher education ecosystem to better support financial literacy and investor nurturing.  

Since 2017, CFFEX has cooperated with many renowned universities and colleges, including Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, etc., to provide financial derivatives courses with academic credits. Over the years, it has launched 31 courses on financial derivatives, and introduced CFFEX’s financial derivatives trading platform FEMAS to  classrooms for mock trading purposes. These courses have gained increasing popularity among university and college students. Over 18,000 students have taken those courses and provided positive feedback.  

During the seven years of “CFFEX Cup”, the Exchange’s investor education work has won recognition and acknowledgement from the industry and academia. Through initiating strategic partnerships, joint internship programs, researches and studies, the Exchange significantly bridged the gap between the financial derivatives industry and the universities and colleges. So far, the Exchange has supported over a hundred  futures companies to build partnerships with over two hundred universities and colleges.  

The Exchange places great importance on financial education and works continuously to provide the tools and foundation that can help investors make informed decisions on investments. Going forward, it will continuously offer a wide spectrum of high-quality learning resources to all market participants. We will continue to educate the public about the benefits and risks of exchange-listed futures and options to support the high-quality development of a rule-based, transparent, open, vibrant, and resilient capital market.