• RBs to promote savings among young Pinoys

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    With the latest gadgets–from tablets to smartphones–and trendy outfits dominating kids’ thoughts, a survey showed that Filipino children save money, not for the rainy days but for the newest trend.

    About two-thirds or 67 percent of the survey participants indicated that they save to buy things they want and most of them (88 percent) are motivated to save so they can purchase computer-related products, a 2012 Pru Life UK survey showed.

    Saving, for Filipino children, turned out to be a means to buy “wants” rather than a way to save to grow and multiply money, according to the survey.

    More than 200 children between seven and 12 years old took part in the survey that was conducted in Metro Manila and Cebu.

    Recognizing this need to teach children the value of savings and wise spending, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), with partner banks and institutions, launched sustainable programs that aim to improve financial literacy among kids.

    Just recently, “Project BRO” (BSP Reaches Out)—a savings campaign for Kids and Teens—was launched. The project is aimed to encourage Grade 1 to Grade 10 students from both public and private schools to save by engaging them in fun-filled activities and interactive talk about saving wisely and the benefits of opening a bank account.

    After the learning session, the team from the BSP’s Financial Consumer Protection Department (FCPD) will track the students’ savings habits by closely coordinating with teachers and school officials for the purpose of encouraging the young to open and grow savings in a “Kiddie Savings” account.

    As of March 2014, the BSP reported that around 526,000 “Kiddie Savings” accounts have already been opened with minimal withdrawal.

    Rural banks also offer saving accounts for children 12 years old and below.

    Based on the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) member-bank profiling, about 30 to 40 percent of rural banks offer the product intended for children to start their own savings early.

    Meanwhile, the association’s technical arm, the Rural Bankers Research and Development Inc., is set to launch its financial literacy program that aims to reach high school students, young adults and young professionals.

    The program is in compliance with the central bank’s consumer protection framework.

    BSP-Supervised Financial Institutions, which include rural banks, are guided by the central bank’s framework to come up with tools that shall ensure that customers are able to make an informed judgment of different products and services.

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