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Financial education, there is another way

Every now and then a story appears that banks are being lined up to provide financial education.

Recently this argument resurfaced in a survey of MP’s and was subsequently decimated in passionate style by Martin ‘Money Saving Expert’ Lewis on BBC Radio 5 Live.

We believe schools need support to teach these lessons but it doesn’t require a big brand to make it effective – there is more than one way to teach financial education.

One of the first big financial decisions a young person makes is, who do I bank with and why? MyBnk helps them make that decision by equipping them with the skills to make an informed choice, that is why we do not partner with retail banks.

Corporate logos and marketing materials should never be put in front of a young person in the classroom.

There is nothing bad about the banking sector being involved in financial education efforts, if it is unbranded and effective, we support it, just have a look at our funders.

However, rather than having a multitude of banks duplicating efforts, as has been the norm for years, the sector can help by supporting and funding research and delivery of independent, expert-led and certified programmes.

We bring together experts in all fields – education, finance, youth workers and young people themselves, to design and deliver workshops on everything from borrowing responsibly to student finance.

This way we can help young people make informed decisions, arm them with key skills like budgeting and address the attitudinal imbalance between needs and wants.

A database of providers is an excellent idea.

Giving teachers and schools  more choice is something we have been pushing for for years and mirrors a quality kite-mark project of providers that is currently underway by the Money Advice Service.

We have a big opportunity to embed effective financial education into schools and we need policymakers to see there is another way, a third more collaborative way, not just the highway.

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