Hackney Council offers young people £20 to start saving


Every child about to start secondary school in Hackney is being offered a credit union savings account, with £20 to get them started.

Hackney Council is developing a scheme that offers young people a helping hand with their finances. It is being designed to help them to save and teach them about responsible financial behaviour including budgeting, saving and handling cash; and giving them the tools to manage their money well into adulthood. Schools will also run sessions to ensure that it overlaps with the curriculum.

The Council decided to develop a scheme because fewer young people than ever are saving, and the numbers are predicted to continue to fall. Advisors in Hackney, are also reporting that money management awareness is getting worse with each generation.

Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Hackney Council
We want to help young people become smart and savvy savers as well be able to make sound financial decisions throughout their lives.

“We know that many young people have little or no experience of dealing with banks and financial matters whilst they are growing up. This can make it difficult when they do have to make decisions about money and other financial issues.

“By offering a savings account at a time in a young person’s life, when they can start to manage their own money, we hope to give them a helping hand and a start on the savings ladder
Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Hackney Council

Every child that starts secondary school in Hackney, in September 2015 will be eligible for the new scheme. The money will be paid into the account during the first year after transferring to secondary school.

Parents and guardians can apply to the credit union on behalf of their children.

Some Hackney residents don’t have a bank account and the Council is aware that some residents are turning to extortionate 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 scheme 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.

Credit unions are a positive alternative for many people. London Community Credit Union is a not-for-profit organisation that provides a range of financial services to its members. They offer a safe and convenient place to save and also provide loans at a very reasonable rate of interest. London Community Credit Union is driven by an ethos of service to their members, rather than maximising profits.

More information on the savings account will be available from Hackney Secondary Schools from September. Parents can register interest in the savings account by sending an email with the subject ‘credit union’ to: creditunion@hackney.gov.uk

Find out more about London Community Credit Union.