Building societies 'uniquely placed' to help young people manage money says national study

Newbury Building Society has been included in a nationwide study by the charity MyBnk, aimed to help stem the nation's personal debt crisis at grassroots level with better financial education for young people.

The 26-page report, commissioned by the Building Societies Association (BSA), was conducted by MyBnk, a leading trainer, designer and deliverer of financial and enterprise education programmes for young people.

The nationwide study found 59% of societies provide financial education for young people, and the building society community has the potential to play an even greater role in the financial education of young people across the UK.

Tens of thousands of 5-25 year olds are benefiting from dozens of innovative building society projects across the country, including Newbury Building Society’s Junior Newbury Building Society (JNBS) scheme, which was launched in 2008. Starting with just four schools, local to the Society’s flagship branch in Newbury, JNBS has grown in size over the last seven years and there are now over 20 school branches taking part.

The scheme enables local schools to operate a ‘school branch’ of the Newbury Building Society where children ‘operate’ their school branch and save money in their accounts. The scheme is part of the Society’s ongoing commitment to being embedded in their local communities and supporting financial education.

Paul Holt, Business Development Manager at Newbury Building Society, said: “It is a pleasure working with these children; they have remained enthusiastic about the project throughout the last few years and have clearly gained a lot from it. Appreciation must also be shown to the teachers in our scheme schools, who help the cashiers run the branches so smoothly.”

UK personal debt is at a record £1.45 trillion; 17-24 year olds owe on average £12,215 each (over half of which is not student debt) and despite curriculum requirements, less than half of young people receive any form of money lessons at school. The complete report and Executive Summary can be found here.

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