School opens credit union branch to get youngsters saving
A Hackney school has opened its own credit union branch to offer young people their own savings account as part of an innovative Council scheme.
Several schools including Skinners Academy and Lubavitch School are already participating in the scheme offering students the chance to open their own savings account with a £20 balance from the Council to help them start saving.
With fewer young people than ever saving, and with numbers predicted to fall further, Hackney Council teamed-up with secondary schools and the London Community Credit Union to launch the scheme at the start of the year. The scheme offers every child in Year 7 a credit union Young Saver Account to encourage responsible financial behaviour and the tools to manage their money well into adulthood.
The Council scheme overlaps with the curriculum with schools joining credit union advisors for special sessions to teach a range of life-long skills from budgeting and saving to handling cash.
The £20 balance is paid into the account during the first year after the child transfers to secondary school, parents and guardians can also apply online or to the credit union directly on behalf of their child either by visiting their branch at 225 Mare St, or online.
This scheme is about helping our next generation understand the importance of good financial management and giving them a little helping hand so they can become smart and savvy savers.
Many young people have never used banks or had the experience of managing money which can make financial decisions in later life difficult, from not putting money into a safe and secure account, to using extortionate payday loans instead of those at a reasonable rate.
With young people starting to manage their money now, they won’t only have the skills to support themselves in their futures but they’ll also be able to help teach their family and friends the valuable lessons they’ve learnt.
Opening up a savings account is giving me a great start in life and will help me to save for my future. I just want to save and save some more for my education as I would like to go to university, or one day afford my own property. I think that all young people like me to should think about opening a savings account and think instead of spending the money they have, just save it instead to spend on their future.
This is a really smart initiative, it's letting us save money for the future. Whenever I receive birthday or pocket money I can now put it straight into my account instead of hiding it around the house. I’m just going to start saving now and spend on my education later on.
Some Hackney residents don’t have a bank account and the Council is aware that some residents are turning to payday loans and, in some cases, loan sharks to pay their rent, purchase household items such as a fridge or sofa, or to buy new school uniforms for their children.
Through this, and other schemes the Council hopes to also help parents and other residents better understand the true cost of borrowing, and where they can go to get debt advice.
Find out more about London Community Credit Union.