Commonwealth Bank Executive General Manager Retail Bank, Mark Jones said:
“We wish to respond to some of the media coverage and criticism around our in-school financial literacy programs.
“Our School Banking program has been running in Australian schools for 87 years, and we are proud to have been able to help children develop good savings habits since 1931.
“Firstly, participation in the School Banking program is completely voluntary for schools, and their parents.
“The program is widely supported by P&C committees and currently is run by a 10,000 strong parent-based volunteer network.
“The Bank does not charge fees or market credit products to customers under 18 years old.
“As part of the School Banking program, students receive a savings account which they can deposit money into. In addition, Commonwealth Bank makes a payment to schools based on the number of participating students, and the frequency of their deposits.
“The purpose of these payments has always been to compensate for the administration of the program and the dedicated time of the volunteers. In most cases these payments generally go towards school sporting equipment or books in the school library.
“So far this year, schools received $500 on average.
“The purpose of the School Banking program is to encourage regular savings habits, and increase financial literacy around the country.
“CBA provides two different in-school programs, being Start Smart and School Banking.
“Start Smart is a free financial educational program that provides engaging and interactive workshops to primary and secondary students and is the largest program of its kind in the world.
“Start Smart does not promote Commonwealth Bank products or services of any kind, and its facilitators are independent of the bank and not employed by CBA.
“We believe that teaching children about money is a critical part of helping young people develop the skills they need to do well in the future."
- School banking in schools since 1931, Start Smart since 2007.
- As at 30 June 2018, 303,608 students and 3,972 schools were participating in the School Banking program.
- As at 30 June 568,649 participated in Start Smart in FY18 (>3 million since 2007).
- A new School Banking Contributions Program was established January 2018.