Twenty-one banks participated in the pilot over the past two years, offering savings accounts to in most cases low- and moderate-income youth through schools or nonprofit partners. In the 2015-16 school year, nearly 4,700 accounts were opened. Bank approaches varied, with some opening in-school branches, some offering visits to nearby branches and others experimenting with mobile banking for youth.
Citing a case where a bank provided a non-custodial youth account for a teen father whose relatives were draining savings meant for child support, and another case where students hired as branch staff at their school became peer financial counselors, Gruenberg said:
Throughout the pilot, we heard a number of stories that demonstrate the significant role that bank programs can play in the lives of the largely low- and moderate-income youth participating in their programs.“Offering financial education to school-age children opens the door to many opportunities and establishes the groundwork for a lifelong banking relationship,” he added.
Read the speech.