What do the FT, Vivi Friedgut and Martin Lewis have in common?
Answer; a common wish to keep banks out of schools!
Why have I posted that stupid photo to this blog?
Answer; because it demonstrates comparable imbecility of allowing banks to provide the financial education to our kids
Who wants to let banks into our schools?
The Government is planning to let banks organise financial education in schools.I reckon they’ll be about as welcome in the schoolyard as drug dealers and paedophiles. But apparantly it’s not the done thing to say so.
He clearly has no problems with conflicts from employing the organisations who sell financial services to educate those of tender years on how to buy them
Moral panic alert.
Banks are about to be let loose into the nation’s schools to peddle their wares to innocent school students. Or to deliver some financial education, which some argue amounts to the same thing.
The Financial Times, which triggered this alarm, kicked off its story saying “High street banks responsible for some of the worst consumer mis-selling scandals of the past decade will be invited into British schools to help teach financial education…”
This ungenerous description of some of our finest financial institutions was mild compared with the response from part of the financial education sector. “WTF?”, spluttered Vivi Friedgut of Blackbullion, a company specialising in financial education.
She likened it to providing free gin at meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. She’d prefer banks to contribute to a fund “to pay passionate, knowledgeable financial educators to deliver engaging dynamic and effective financial education programs to students.” Hint: she may be thinking about herself there.
Of course, there’s a long tradition of educators working with banks to provide financial education.
The Personal Finance Education Group charity is pretty relaxed. It draws the line at promoting financial products but allows brand names to be displayed on schools materials. This is handy, as donations and grants from those brands keep Pfeg going.
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com and financial education campaigner, is also cool about banks in schools. He was quoted by the FT:
“I’d like to see teachers introduce bank staff and say to children:’Their job is to sell you products and make a profit. Now what would you like to ask them?’”
Vivi Friedgut’s question in response might be,
And she’d be right to do so. There is nothing wrong with Vivi and BlackBullion charging schools for their time and expertise. Indeed, charging a straight fee rather than relying on sponsorship from financial institutions (whether as a charity or as the charitable arm of a bank) is the best way to avoid conflicts and re-install trust in those who look after our finances .
Getting on for 12m subscribe to Martin’s e-mails and I’ve no doubt that Vivi will get there herself if she carries on like today! Those 12m do so because they know and trust what they are getting- they know they’ve made Martin rich but don’t seem to begrudge him his success. As one recent comment put it.
Martin what would we do without you?!
By contrast ,PFEG has a long history but is virtually unknown. That’s what you’d expect from an organisation in the pocket of its sponsoring financial institutions .
If we are to restore confidence in those financial institutions , we need to be get”expert”. That means keeping clear blue water between those doing the buying and those doing the selling.
It also means being honest about what is going on (as Martin Lewis is suggesting).
“Free” financial education is no more “free” than free financial advice. Schools and Government’s who think they can get education on the cheap are simply adding to the confusion and distrust we have with financial institutions.
This would be an inter-generational transfer we could do without!
If we are ever to make our kids money saving experts, they need to get savvy . That means them waking up , not sedating themselves with the financial mogadon the banks prescribe.
- Insurance and finance ‘should be taught in schools’ (castlecover.co.uk)
- Record number of students to graduate from financial education course (jsonline.com)
- Study highlights need for better financial education (radionz.co.nz)
- Giving Back (ally.com)
- Financial Education should be Introduced as a Compulsory Subject in Schools (ivythesis.typepad.com)
- High street banks could teach with branded materials in schools (telegraph.co.uk)
- Financial education conference now targets youth (business.inquirer.net)
- Report: ‘Mis-selling’ banks to teach finance in schools (itv.com)