CBA moves youth financial education online

Commonwealth Bank today announces the evolution of our 90-year legacy in youth financial education, moving from in-school financial education programs towards the delivery of education resources online, and further development of alternative solutions for youth banking and financial education.

“For 90 years, the Commonwealth Bank has been supporting the financial wellbeing of young Australians and we are committed to continuing to provide the programs and services they need,” said Angus Sullivan, Group Executive Retail Banking Services.

“Support from schools, parents and teachers for our School Banking program is strong, with over 1,450 schools around the country who choose to run our program. We are disappointed with the position taken by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and subsequent decisions by some state and territory governments to take that choice away from individual schools and parents.”

“Because of the ASIC review and these government decisions, we are unable to continue providing programs in schools and we have had to make a difficult decision to close our School Banking program nationally.”

Today’s decision from the New South Wales Government to discontinue school banking follows similar decisions from the Victorian, ACT and Queensland Governments and an industry-wide review of school banking programs by ASIC. CBA did not agree with the overall assessment of school banking programs made by ASIC in its report.

“Our School Banking program was established in 1931 at a time when having a bank account was not commonplace, and since then we have helped more than 15 million Australians take their first financial steps.”

“We want to thank the millions of children, families, school communities and volunteers right across the country who have taken part over the past 90 years for their incredible contributions.”

Our research shows 95 per cent of parents with a child in primary school believe it is important for their kids to learn about the value of money, spending wisely and saving as early as kindergarten, and we want to better support parents and teachers to uplift young people’s financial capability.

“For some time, we have been working with a range of experts to evolve our approach to financial education, and will have exciting new tools available to families in 2022 to empower parents and further support young people’s financial wellbeing in a digital world.”

“We continue to believe that financial capability is a critical part of every Australian child’s education and we will continue to work with teachers and parents to support them in this endeavour, now and into the future, both in the home and the classroom, as appropriate.”

While our in-school program will close, all our education resources are now available for teachers and parents in our new CommBank Youth Hub, so children of all ages across Australia can continue to develop their financial capability at school, at home and in the real world. Visit commbank.com.au/youth to access a range of free resources, including lesson plans, videos and worksheets.

  • For teachers, our resources will support continued financial education in the classroom, aligned to the Australian Curriculum and the National Consumer Financial Literacy Framework. These include videos of engaging workshops designed for kids and delivered by expert facilitators, and other teacher resources including lesson plans.
  • For parents, our resources will support building financial capability at home. These include worksheets and short videos they can work through with their children at home. Separately, through our Debit Mastercard available on Youth Smart Access we provide parents with controls to ensure their children have safe access to banking, empowering them to monitor their child’s spending and saving needs. Our features allow them to keep an eye on their child’s spending; control their weekly spend limit; and lock contactless card payments, online payments, or their child’s card completely at any time.
  • For kids, the CommBank Youth app helps bring digital money to life, and our kids’ activities will continue to help them learn lessons about money, under the supervision of their families. Children can see their account balance, transfer savings into their Youthsaver account and keep track of their money in the CommBank Youth app. Our Youthsaver account helps parents and their children set savings goals and work towards them together, and the Smart Access Account for Youth also allows parents to pay their child’s pocket money directly into their online account. Youth accounts have no monthly account fees, and no withdrawal fees when using CommBank branches, or CommBank or Bankwest ATMs, so every dollar children earn can be put towards saving or spending.

For 90 years, our School Banking program has helped children learn about money, reinforced the importance of regular savings and provided structure for parents to support their children to save. The program will cease operation in all government and non-government schools across Australia at the end of the current school year.*

Our School Banking team will continue to provide dedicated support to schools and volunteers until the end of the year, including helping schools close the program when the time comes.

* In line with government directions, the School Banking program has already closed for government schools in Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, and Queensland.

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