When kids develop good financial habits young, it can set them up well for the rest of their lives. If you’ve grown up saving your pocket money or birthday money for something you really want, then when you get your first “real job”, you’re more likely not to blow each pay check on shopping sprees.
Here at CANSTAR, we recognise that parents can’t be everywhere at once when it comes to learning how to manage money. That’s why our Bank of the Year – Junior Banking Award recognises the institution that is able to provide appropriate support for financial education, school banking, content or resources for both schools and parents, and a savings account to give kids a head start.
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What is this award?
The Bank of the Year – Junior Banking award seeks to recognise the level of support provided to juniors (under 12s). The award seeks to focus on instructional support in financial education, parental support and availability of workshops and resources to schools.
CANSTAR also compares institutions on the availability of and coverage across banking services in the school banking programs. Additionally the savings account with the highest average overall interest and comprehensive array of features will achieve the highest product score.
The institution which has performed exceptionally across each component and has accumulated the highest overall score wins the award.
Who is ASB Bank?
The first Auckland Savings Bank (ASB) was founded in 1847 with the goal “to serve the community and to help Kiwis grow”. Today, they have more than 1.3 million customers across the country.
ASB can boast having made a number of national banking firsts:
- First internet banking site (1997)
- First no-branch bank (1997)
- First 7-day branch (1998)
- First to offer online share trading in both New Zealand and Australian share markets (1999)
- First mobile internet banking (1999)
What do ASB offer kids?
ASB’s Savings Plus account is its top account available for young people. Although it does not apply exemptions for those under the age of 18, it pays competitive interest rates. The base interest rate is 0.50% on a $500 balance, and the maximum rate juniors can achieve if no withdrawals are made is 2.90%. Transfers and deposits are free; however, branch transactions are $1 each. An above-average offering of product features has also assisted ASB in winning the award. To read about these features, visit https://www.asb.co.nz/bank-accounts/savings-plus.html
ASB’s Getting Kids Started website makes it easy to navigate ASB’s products and educational resources designed for parents and kids beginning to learn about money. The website provides specific information to help parents with the financial education of the junior or youth savers in their household.
Clever Kash is an impressive innovation launching in 2016, too. He’s an upgrade to the traditional ASB elephant moneybox, Kashin – but instead of putting in coins, you use the ASB mobile banking app to transfer money. The money shows up in the app and then kids flick the digital coins into Clever Kash’s tummy, helping kids to understand the value of money even when it’s not in physical form.
ASB has maintained its lead for Education this year due to a comprehensive offering of financial education workshops for both primary and secondary students. Last year they managed to conduct a total of 4,134 workshops in New Zealand schools.
ASB’s workshops revolve around learning the basics, including money, saving, spending, banking, setting goals, and budgeting. Seminars and workshops for older students also include a focus on interest, tax, currency, and income and risk.
You can check out what ASB offer on their GetWise website. The ASB GetWise education program impressed our researchers because it covers not just primary schools across New Zealand but also intermediate and secondary schools as well.
ASB Bank started New Zealand’s first school banking program back in 1926, and it’s still running today.
Today, a whopping 722 schools participate in ASB’s school banking program, the largest number of schools of any of the institutions we rated. This is vital because there is certainly no value for customers if they choose a school banking program that is only offered in a few schools.
The advantage of ASB’s system for parents is that they gain access to further learning resources, and the ability to control how their child uses their account.
How does it work? There are 11 managers dedicated to running these school banking programs and collecting money weekly. Kids can open an account at school with assistance from staff, and they can make a deposit at school during each weekly session. Students who actively make an effort to save regularly will receive a certificate of achievement each school term.
CANSTAR congratulates ASB Bank on winning the 2016 Award for Bank of the Year – Junior Banking.
Compare Junior Banking with CANSTAR
Compare Junior Banking savings and transaction accounts with the CANSTAR Award report, and see if you can’t find outstanding value for your kids. Help them sign up for an account and it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship between your kids and savvy saving habits.