Stop dollar-mining our kids
 
 
 
 
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Join the campaign to get banks out of our schools

Your experiences and responses will be valuable in shaping our involvement in ASIC's review of school banking.

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Get banks out of our schools

This month we awarded the Commonwealth Bank a Shonky Award for using its school banking program to market banking products to kids. Now, ASIC has announced a review into banking programs in schools.

As a voice for consumers, CHOICE intends to play a big role in the review. We want to know: why do you support the removal of bank-branded marketing from schools?

Our take on Dollarmites marketing

Slick bank marketing programs like Dollarmites hope to convert primary school students into long-term customers. We've found that 35% of Australian adults still have their first bank account and this brand attachment often means they take out credit cards, home loans or other products with the same bank. 

This is big business for the Commonwealth Bank – an analyst recently estimated its school marketing program to be worth $9.9 billion. With 46% of people getting their first account with the Commonwealth Bank, it's a testament to the power of schemes like Dollarmites.

While most people would agree that letting a huge company buy its way directly into the education system is ludicrous, we still permit virtually unlimited access to young children from some of the worst corporate offenders in the country.

Shonkys 2018

A relentless marketing program targeted at young minds? Now that's shonky.

 

Read why the Commonwealth Bank entered the Hall of Shame at this year's annual Shonky Awards.

Bad behaviour from the banks

The Commonwealth Bank has been at the centre of misconduct at the banking royal commission. They were caught:

 

◦ charging over $118m in fees-for-no-service from everyday Australians

 

selling add on insurance to people that were ineligible to claim against it, such as students or retired Australians

 

charging dead people fees for financial advice they obviously never received.

 

A recent Fairfax investigation has also revealed that thousands of Commonwealth Bank staff fraudulently manipulated Dollarmites youth accounts for personal financial gain.

FAQs

From as early as five, Australian school kids are sold bank-branded material. One Commonwealth Bank crossword, aimed at 10 to 12 year olds, provides this clue for the answer "credit cards": "cards that allow you to obtain goods and services before you actually pay for them". This is a simplistic and disingenuous description of the high-interest debt cards the bank will be selling to these children when they grow up.

If the big banks are serious about being part of the community and delivering an essential service, they should donate the money they spend marketing to children to programs independent of the bank that encourage financial literacy.
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