‘Little value’: Queensland gives school banking programs the heave-ho

Queensland will join other states and territories in dumping the CBA's Dollarmites program later this year.

Queensland will join other states and territories in dumping the CBA's Dollarmites program later this year. Photo: CBA

School banking programs will end in Queensland after a review found no evidence they improved saving habits in young children, who it described as ‘vulnerable consumers’.

Banking in schools will cease at the end of July to coincide with the end of the Commonwealth Bank’s current contract, Education Minister Grace Grace said on Monday.

“The ASIC report demonstrated that there was really little value in the program, and that often the true intention of the program wasn’t disclosed, and that there wasn’t really a terrible amount of financial education that was taking place,” she said.

Ms Grace said “times had changed” since the Dollarmites program was introduced about 50 years ago, and the curriculum now included up-to- date financial education.

“Our schools are now giving them skills to help manage their money responsibly while being cybersafe and avoiding the potential pitfalls modern technology can bring,” she said.

Victoria and the ACT have also moved to end school banking programs, and Ms Grace said other states were looking to follow suit.

“About 38,000 [Queensland] students have those accounts, and they can continue their relationship … but the Dollarmites program will cease at the end of the contract term.”

Bendigo Bank ceased its school banking program with the education department in 2020.

The ASIC report released in 2020 found that school banking could not be proven to improve savings behaviour and exposed young children to “sophisticated advertising and marketing tactics”.

It found payments to schools for implementing the programs could encourage greater participation, and there was a failure to disclose that attracting more customers was a key aim.


Topics: Queensland
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