Morley MLA Amber-Jade Sanderson urges schools to review school banking programs

Morley MLA Amber-Jade Sanderson says schools should review school banking programs.
Morley MLA Amber-Jade Sanderson says schools should review school banking programs.

MORLEY MLA Amber-Jade Sanderson is calling on schools to review their school banking programs, in light of an Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) announcement.

The commission announced today it would start a review of school banking programs in primary schools.

Programs are based on financial literacy, where students learn about the value of money, cost of living, compound interest, identifying a scam, choosing a mobile data plan and starting a business.

The ASIC’s review will seek to understand how these programs are implemented, consider how students establish accounts through these programs and assess the benefits and risks.

Various stakeholders will be consulted, including from the education sector, consumer organisations, other regulatory agencies and banks offering the programs.

This review followed an interim report by the Banking Royal Commission which found Commonwealth Bank staff were depositing small amounts to children’s accounts through the Dollarmites Club program to improve performance bonuses.

In a grievance delivered in parliament today, Ms Sanderson urged all local schools to review school banking programs.

“Financial literacy is one of the most important things we can teach our kids and they deserve a program that is more than an elaborate and aggressive marketing scheme by a bank with a proven track record of misconduct,” she said.

“We know that banking habits once established are hard to shift, this is not simply a public service for our schools it is a marketing strategy to grab customers.

“I would say it is corporate grooming.

“I urge all local schools to review their school banking programs.”

ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said transparency around school banking programs was 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,” he said.

The review is expected to be completed by mid-2019.