Banks do their share to teach kids about money

Aneth Ng-Lim

Posted at Jun 24 2019 09:08 AM

Back-to-school season is in full swing. Students in public schools returned to classes in early June, while private schools have scheduled their openings between late June to mid-August.

As the students dive into new learnings, I am reminded of one subject that is not part of the curriculum and rarely taught in schools: personal finance. Yet it is a life skill that will guide every person in nearly every life stage – as a student living with a limited allowance, as a young adult starting work, when one marries and begins to build a family life, until retirement when one hopes to have saved enough to enjoy her or his golden years.

Indeed, money makes the world go round and the lack of it can be paralyzing. That’s why I welcomed the news of recent initiatives by two leading banks to engage young kids to learn about money.

Get Money-WISE with RCBC Savings Bank

RCBC Savings Bank hosted a 5-day summer workshop to instill the value and habit of saving in young children. Plus, all participants were given the chance to experience how it is to be a banker.

According to its Retail Banking Group Head Francis Vincent Berdan: “This workshop was conceptualized from the bank’s vision of branches playing a key role in the communities they serve. Through this summer activity, we hope to mold the children into becoming responsible citizens when they grow up.” 

Dubbed the WISE Summer Camp after the bank’s savings account for children, it ran from May 27 to May 31 at select branches and hosted over 30 kids altogether.

During each day, children were given on-the-job training such as greeting the customers and assisting in opening accounts. They were also able to showcase their creative skills during a coin-bank making activity, and learn the importance of saving through an interactive storytelling session. Through their on-the-job training, the WISE summer campers were also able to appreciate the role of a bank in taking care of the customer’s hard-earned money. 

And just like in school, they also celebrated their achievements and graduated as summer ended.

The activity reaffirms RSB’s advocacy on financial literacy, and a novel way to also share the benefits of its product, WISE Savings account, to parents of the enrolled kids.

From 0 to 21 years, one can open the WISE Savings Account starting with a very affordable P100 deposit. If you make an initial deposit of P1,000 or more, the account will come with free personal accident insurance for the first year. When your balance hits P5,000, your funds will begin to earn interest, paid out quarterly.

Happy Money Endings with HSBC

Can you imagine Cinderella, Rapunzel and Aurora living their happy-ever-afters without their princes? That’s exactly what happens in the pages of “Fairer Tales: Princesses Doing It For Themselves”, which you can download here for free.

HSBC commissioned award-winning English author Emma Dodd to update the well-loved children’s stories. Dodd accepted the creative challenge and wrote about modern heroines where the princesses are no longer waiting to be rescued from wicked stepmothers and stepsisters, from deep slumbers, or from high towers guarded by witches. 

This time, the “hero” that saves the day are the princesses themselves and their money smarts.

“We believe it is through storytelling that we can set a positive example for our young children,” said HSBC Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management in the Philippines Peter Faulhaber.

Within the pages of the book, Michelle Andrews, who heads Mortgages and Savings for HSBC in the United Kingdom, wrote: “our research shows that gender stereotyping within popular culture and within the stories we tell our children plays a key role in shaping attitudes and financial behaviors that last a lifetime.” The bank “believes that if we can help turn this around, we will see children grow up to feel empowered and take control of their financial futures.”

I hope you download a copy of the book for your kids or even for you to enjoy and get a new empowering perspective. Don’t worry, you will still get magical tales but this time weaved with the importance of saving, investment and invention to showcase anyone can shape their own future with determination, imagination and some clever ways with money.

Cinderella still gets to go to the Royal Ball thanks to her fairy godmother and despite her wicked stepsisters but her happy ever after comes not from marrying the prince, but from designing sports shoes!

Sleeping Beauty wakes up on her own because Prince Charming came late. She stumbled across many letters that have been waiting for her while she was in deep sleep. Fortunately for her, before she pricked her finger, she invested her money and so, one of the letters is from her bank that shows her funds have grown!

And then we have Rapunzel who got tired of waiting to be rescued so she rescues herself! She cuts her hair and turns it into a rope to get down from the tower. Then she contacts the witch and offers to buy the property, then borrows money from the bank to convert it into her own home with rental spaces.

If I had such heroines when growing up, maybe my bank account in my younger years would have had a happier ending. 

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.