The Influence of Financial Attitude, Financial Behaviour, and Self-Belief towards Financial Vulnerability among Public Employees in Malaysia

Amirah Shazana Magli, Mohamad Fazli Sabri, Husniyah Abdul Rahim
Department of Resource Management & Consumer Studies, Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia


Previously, the World Bank reported that Malaysia’s household debt in 2019 rose to 294.3 billion US dollars, thus placing the country as having the second-highest household debt among the nations in the Asia Pacific region. A high household debt is associated to the decrement of welfare and higher vulnerability among public employees in the country, especially those in current and retirement phases alike. Therefore, this research aimed to determine the factors potentially leading to financial vulnerability among 590 public employees in Malaysia, which was carried out by using multi-stage random sampling. To this end, a self-administered questionnaire was constructed to gather the data required. Consequently, binary logistic regression indicated that financial attitude, financial behaviour, and self-belief significantly predicted the likelihood of financial vulnerability. Meanwhile, the elements of gender and income were utilised as the control variables and found to be significant. Furthermore, the non-significant Hosmer and Lemeshow test reflected the fitness of the final logistic model, which yielded moderate classification of 74.6 per cent. The results of this study will undoubtedly benefit the government and non-governmental organisations alike in their bid to create a holistic strategy explicitly designed towards improving the general living standards. They will also promote good financial management, financial attitude, and behaviour, as well as self-belief, especially in the context of the lower-income group. Moreover, a deeper understanding of the financial vulnerability determinants plays a vital role in supporting every individual and equipping them with the financial prudence required, which would minimise the rate of financial risk in the long-run.

Keywords: Financial attitude, Financial behaviour, Financial vulnerability, Household debt, Self-belief