START EM YOUNG A + B = COMMONWEALTH BANK. Financial literacy for kids and young teens is as essential as the Three Rs.

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1 Report No. 2 July 2012 Financial literacy for kids and young teens is as essential as the Three Rs. So what do our banks offer this specialised group of potential future customers? START EM YOUNG F inancial education that s fun, informative and, to a certain extent, repetitive is a necessary part of kids upbringing if they are to have any chance of making wise financial choices down the track. Whether they like it or not, parents play a major part in this process, as they are the key role models. That means bad financial habits will be copied just as much as good financial habits. The whole exercise can be a lot easier with help from the financial institutions. For the second year, we looked at this important area of financial literacy for the young and measured how 34 banks, building societies and credit unions stacked up with their banking accounts for the young, educational resources, websites and school banking programs. We drilled our research down into junior banking for the under 12s and banking for the youth age group from 12 to 17 years. The two groups tend to be quite different in their banking needs. The younger kids predominantly need a savings account which uses routine banking to lay the foundation for future banking interaction. These youngsters also benefit from financial education, as it applies to them, plus school banking and its associated rewards for participation. The older kids, on the other hand, already have a good grasp of the basics when it comes to banking and they need more of a transaction account which gives them flexibility for spending as well as saving and perhaps even direct deposit facilities for their part-time job. As well as looking at banking products offered, we also took into 1 account access points such as ATMs, branches and online banking. CANSTAR researched all the products, tools, website education, information and programs on the market to pinpoint the most useful and comprehensive for parents and children. We looked at purpose-designed banking accounts, the quality of online education provided, level of school banking or community programs each institution engages in and all round banking programs designed to help parents and children pave the way for financial literacy in those important formative years. A + B = COMMONWEALTH BANK I t s not surprising that the Commonwealth Bank emerged from our research as the Dux of the class for the second year running. The Commonwealth has an unwavering focus in the area of children s banking and education and continues to offer the allround best value for its dedication to providing financial education and banking services to children and teenagers.

2 Commonwealth Bank through its One Million Kids initiative, pledged to improve financial literacy of one million kids by With more than 820,000 kids involved to date, there is no doubt that nothing will stop Commonwealth Bank from achieving this goal. Through its pledge, Commonwealth Bank has already established school programs such as their Foundation s Start Smart and the School Banking program to integrate financial education into the school s curriculum so primary and secondary students are taught the importance of money management in the comfort of the classroom. Outside the classroom, children and teenagers can also access financial literacy material online through Dollarmites, the Hit List and Coinland, which all involve interactive games and activities to improve saving and budgeting skills, as well as providing guides on how to earn money and get a job. To encourage further saving, Commonwealth Bank also offers a CANSTAR 5-star rated Youthsaver account with fee-free banking and bonus interest if you make at least one deposit and no withdrawals during the month. The sheer depth of detail with the Commonwealth s entire youth banking and education program is impressive and the bank is to be congratulated on this commitment which has once again seen them win the CANSTAR award for best value in youth banking and education. Commonwealth Bank has gone to great lengths to encourage financial literacy through interactive games such as Coinland (above left) for young children and the Hit List (above right) for teenagers REGIONAL STRENGTH RECOGNISED For those looking for a true alternative to the big banks, we researched mutual banks, building societies and credit unions and were particularly impressed with Hume Building Society in this area. Hume Building Society is committed to providing financial education and banking services for primary and secondary students, as well as offering deposit accounts, encouraging saving and healthy spending habits. The strength of the School Banking program is backed up with online financial education material focussing on particular life stages of children and teenagers. Clancy Koala is the kids hero at Hume. He encourages saving by holding competitions with great prizes like ipods and 2 laptops. The Clancy Koala savings account also pays bonus interest if $10 is deposited and no withdrawals are made in one month. Hume visits schools to educate kids on savings, setting financial goals and distinguishing between needs and wants through their mobile classroom a commendable effort. We congratulate Hume Building Society for winning the Best Value Youth Banking and Education for a building society.

3 In Hume Building Society s Junior Saver Club, kids can play games and calculate the time it will take to achieve their savings goals. COPYRIGHT CANSTAR Pty Limited ABN , The recipient must not reproduce or transmit to third parties the whole or any part of this work, whether attributed to CANSTAR or not, unless with prior written permission from CANSTAR, which if provided, may be provided on conditions. DISCLAIMER To the extent that any CANSTAR data, ratings or commentary constitutes general advice, this advice has been prepared by CANSTAR Pty Limited ABN AFSL and does not take into account your individual investment objectives, financial circumstances or needs. Information provided does not constitute financial, taxation or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. CANSTAR recommends that, before you make any financial decision, you seek professional advice from a suitably qualified adviser. A Product Disclosure Statement relating to the product should also be obtained and considered before making any decision about whether to acquire the product. CANSTAR acknowledges that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Please refer to CANSTAR s FSG for more information at 3

4 Youth Banking We endeavour to include the majority of product providers in the market and to compare the product features most relevant to consumers in our ratings. This is not always possible and it may be that not every product in the market is included in the rating nor every feature compared that is relevant to you. Youth Accounts School-based programs Junior Company Accounts Transaction Saver School Banking Workshops Specific Junior Savings Games Accounts Accounts Program and Website Calulator Resources ADCU No No No ANZ No No No Arab Bank Australia Yes Coming soon Coming soon Bank of Cyprus No No No BankSA Yes Yes Yes Bankmecu No No No Bankwest No No No Beirut Hellenic Bank Yes No No Cairns Penny Savings and Loans No No No Commonwealth Bank Yes Yes Yes Community CPS No No No Community First Credit Union No No No Companion CU No No No ECU Australia Ltd No No No Gateway Credit Union No No No Greater Building Society No No No Holiday Coast Credit Union Yes No No Horizon Credit Union No No No Hume Building Society Ltd Yes Yes Yes IMB LTD No Yes No Illawarra Credit Union No No No MyState No No No NAB No No No Newcastle Permanent No No No People's Choice Credit Union No No No SCU No No No SERVICE ONE Members Banking No No No Summerland Credit Union No No No Suncorp Bank No Yes Yes Teachers Mutual No No No United Community No No No Victoria Teachers Mutual No No No Wagga Mutual No No No Westpac No No No your guide to product excellence REPORT DATE: JULY 2012 Online Educational Games and Tools for Juniors Financial Literacy Content for Kids Report Date: 5/07/2012, All information is correct as at July 6th, Youth Banking Award page 1

5 METHODOLOGY What is the CANSTAR Youth Banking and Education award? The CANSTAR youth banking and education award uses the star ratings methodology. This is unique to CANSTAR and compares 34 institutions from across Australia and scores them on both price and features. The CANSTAR youth banking and education award analysis is transparent, comparing a broad range of youth and children account rates and features to arrive at our award winner. CANSTAR Metholodology To arrive at the total score on which to make the award, CANSTAR looks at 2 age brackets: the junior profile for children aged 12 and under and the youth profile for teenagers aged between 12 and 17. Junior Under 12s Youth years YOUR GUIDE TO PRODUCT EXCELLENCE

6 CANSTAR Metholodology tree Each age bracket is broken down into the components that are important for the youth market in the following methodology tree. While products make up half the overall score, the other half focuses on institutional investment in education, parental material, workshops and school banking. We feel that institutions spending time and energy on these aspects of Junior and Youth banking and education should be recognised. Product Ratings Score Junior Saver Score Junior Under 12 s Education Distribution 20% Branch 35% ATM 15% School Banking Youth Years Product Education Distribution 20% Ratings Score Youth Transaction 80% Linked Savings Account Rate 20% Online Banking 25% Branch 10% ATM 65% YOUR GUIDE TO PRODUCT EXCELLENCE 2

7 Product Profiles Scoring To compare the product on offer in the market we use 2 profiles which allow for the change in the child s needs as they mature and start working. Table 1 below shows how the product scoring is calculated. As with all CANSTAR star ratings, the value of the product is determined by using a combination of price and feature scoring. The pricing and feature weightings are outlined in Table 1. Pricing is further broken down into rates and scenarios, while Features include both product features and branch accessibility (coverage). These weightings are also outlined in the table below. Table 1: Product Price/Feature weightings Profile Pricing Features Junior Saver 75% 25% Youth Transactor 75% 25% Profile Rates Scenario Product Features Coverage Junior Saver 82% 18% 70% 30% Youth Transactor 30% 70% 70% 30% Table 2 shows the transaction behaviour used in scenario scoring, for the two profiles, and the percentage of transactions allocated to each transaction type. Table 2: Transaction Scenarios for pricing calculation Junior Saver Youth Transactor Average no. of transactions ATM withdrawal own network 5 15 Branch cash withdrawal 100% 5% EFTPOS transaction Internet transaction 15% CANSTAR s methodology accounts for the tiered interest rate structure of deposit accounts. Table 3 outlines how the tiers for historical rate calculations were applied: Table 3: Balance Tiers Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Junior Saver $500 $1,000 $2,000 Youth Transactor $100 $250 $500 YOUR GUIDE TO PRODUCT EXCELLENCE 3

8 Education Component A key feature of providing a junior/youth banking program is the supporting tools and material. For the award we looked at website resources as well as parent and curriculum resources for use by parents and teachers. Category Category Description Weight Tools Junior Website, Youth Website, Savings Calculators, Budget Calculators, Games, Updated Games Workshops Community and School Workshops, Facilitators 35% Curriculum Resources and Facilitators 15% Distribution Branch access and school banking are excellent tools to help children learn to save. Easy access to branches and ATMs are rewarded based on the CANSTAR distribution analysis, while for school banking we look at the quality of the banking program being offered to schools. Category Category Description Weight Distribution Operate Program, Frequency of Collection 20% Services Open Account, Deposits, Rewards 60% Benefits Commissions and Grants 20% How often are all the products reviewed for rating purposes? The youth banking and education award is recalculated every 12 months based on the latest rates and features offered by each institution. CANSTAR also monitors rate changes on an ongoing basis. Does CANSTAR rate other product areas? CANSTAR researches, compares and rates the suite of banking and insurance products listed below. These star ratings use similar methodologies to guarantee quality, consistency and transparency. Results are available to consumers who use the star ratings as a guide to product excellence. The use of similar star ratings logos also builds consumer recognition of quality products across all categories. Please access the CANSTAR website at if you would like to view the latest star ratings reports of interest. Account based pensions Agribusiness Business banking Business life insurance Car insurance Credit cards Deposit accounts Direct life insurance Health insurance Home & Contents Home loans Life Insurance Managed investments Margin lending Online share trading Package banking Personal loans Reward programs Superannuation Travel insurance YOUR GUIDE TO PRODUCT EXCELLENCE 4

9 DISCLAIMER: To the extent that any CANSTAR data, ratings or commentary constitutes general advice, this advice has been prepared by CANSTAR Pty Ltd ABN AFSL and does not take into account your individual investment objectives, financial circumstances or needs. Information provided does not constitute financial, taxation or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. CANSTAR recommends that, before you make any financial decision, you seek professional advice from a suitably qualified adviser. A Product Disclosure Statement relating to the product should also be obtained and considered before making any decision about whether to acquire the product. CANSTAR acknowledges that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Please refer to CANSTAR s FSG for more information at All information contained herein shall not be copied or otherwise reproduced, repackaged, further transmitted, transferred, disseminated, redistributed or resold, or stored for subsequent use for any purpose, in whole or in part, in any form or manner or by means whatsoever, by any person without CANSTAR s prior consent. All information obtained by CANSTAR from external sources is believed to be accurate and reliable. Under no circumstances shall CANSTAR have any liability to any person or entity due to error (negligence or otherwise) or other circumstances or contingency within or outside the control of CANSTAR or any of its directors, officers, employees or agents in connection with the procurement, collection, compilation, analysis, interpretation, communication, publication, or delivery of any such information. Copyright 2012 CANSTAR Pty Ltd ABN YOUR GUIDE TO PRODUCT EXCELLENCE 5

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