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Get banks out of our schools

Enter your details here, then click 'next' to write your submission to the school banking review.

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Stop dollar-mining our kids

Our schools should be a place for learning, not for big banks to push financial products on unsuspecting kids.

The Commonwealth Bank's Dollarmites school banking scheme might look like small change, but the program is estimated to be worth an obscene $9.9 billion to the bank.

Banking schemes in schools are under review right now, so it’s critical that you make your voice heard. Send your submission to call on the banking regulator ASIC to get banks out of our schools now.

Your submission will be most effective if it’s unique and personal. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Tell ASIC who you are (e.g. parent, teacher, customer etc.) and why you want banks out of our schools. For example, you might be a parent or grandparent and concerned about the example scandal-ridden banks are setting for our kids.
  2. Tell a personal story if you have one – maybe you still have your Dollarmites account and struggled to shut it down, or ended up taking out a credit card, home loan or other products with the bank as result.
  3. Note that financial literacy education is already embedded in the Australian Curriculum and that there is little evidence that school banking schemes like Dollarmites promote long-term saving habits.
  4. Note that schemes like Dollarmites have negative consequences as they are designed to make lifelong customers out of our kids.
  5. Be polite but clear. Make sure to say that you want banking schemes out of our schools.
  6. Any length of submission is fine. Feel free to keep it short, or go more in depth. 

Shonkys 2018 winner

A relentless marketing program targeted at young minds? Now that's shonky. As if the Commonwealth Bank need another spot in the Hall of Shame, their Dollarmites program picked up a Shonky award in 2018.

FAQs

There is little evidence to indicate that school banking programs improve long-term savings behaviour. We do know that the Dollarmites program is worth a lot to the Commonwealth Bank though – $9.9 billion in fact.

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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