As the lead Australian Government agency for financial capability, ASIC is today announcing that it will commence a review of school banking programs in primary schools.
Across the country young people are learning about money at school. Financial literacy education is embedded in the Australian Curriculum and teachers draw on a range of materials and programs to support an understanding of money and financial concepts.
Students are learning about the value of money, the cost of living, compound interest, identifying a scam, choosing a mobile data plan and starting a business.
It is essential that young people develop the knowledge and the skills they need to engage effectively with financial products and services. Attitudes and behaviours around money can be shaped from an early age and education is a key component to support stronger financial capability and to better prepare young people to manage financial decisions throughout their life.
School banking programs are offered to primary schools as a way of encouraging and supporting the importance of savings through regular deposits facilitated by the school.
To better understand how school banking programs are operating, ASIC will undertake a review of school banking programs. ASIC’s review:
- will seek to understand how these programs are implemented and how they are marketed to school communities.
- will consider how students are engaging with these programs and the accounts established through these programs while they are at school and after they leave school.
- will assess the benefits as well as the risks of school banking programs, and will set out principles for appropriate conduct and good practice in this area.
Deputy Chair, Peter Kell said, 'Transparency around school banking programs is important. ASIC wants to understand the motivations and behaviours around school banking programs to ensure they ultimately serve the interests of young Australians, and to enable school communities to have an understanding of the potential impact of these programs.'
ASIC will consult with various stakeholders including from the education sector, consumer organisations, other regulatory agencies, as well as the banks offering the programs.
It is expected the review will be complete by mid-2019.
ASIC is the lead Australian Government agency for financial capability, consistent with its strategic priority and statutory objective to promote confident and informed consumers and investors. ASIC's financial capability program includes:
› Leading the National Financial Capability Strategy;
› Providing consumer information via ASIC's MoneySmart;
› Delivering ASIC's MoneySmart Teaching program; and
› Implementing ASIC’s Indigenous Outreach Program.
The National Financial Capability Strategy, led and coordinated by ASIC, seeks to broaden the reach and impact of financial capability initiatives that assist Australians to be in control of their financial lives.
School banking programs are programs where a bank has a relationship with a school to offer deposit products to their students. These students are encouraged to establish bank accounts and make ongoing deposits into those accounts at the school.