Helping young people manage their money
HSBC has pledged USD4 million to a leading financial literacy organisation to help young people worldwide learn to manage their money effectively.
It’s the latest step in a global partnership between the bank and the non-profit organisation JA Worldwide (JA WW) that goes back more than a decade.
JA WW is dedicated to helping young people develop the skills they need to prepare for the workplace and be financially capable. Over the past 11 years, HSBC and the organisation have worked together to reach nearly 700,000 young people in countries ranging from Argentina to Vietnam.
And the new funding is set to help reach a whole new digital-savvy generation. Over the coming months, JA WW will develop a new mobile app, providing an accessible and intuitive way for young people to learn about managing money.
Together with classroom-based lessons and other resources, the app will help them develop the financial skills and attitudes they need to manage money online.
Alison Coates, HSBC’s Head of Future Skills, said: “Financial skills matter more than ever right now. We are proud of the achievements made over the past 11 years with JA WW – but now we’re looking forward to helping the partnership evolve to meet the changing habits and needs of young people today.”
In addition to providing financial support, the bank encourages its employees to volunteer in support of JA WW’s activities. Around 11,000 HSBC volunteers have given their time to date, helping design lesson plans and supporting teachers in classrooms.
And volunteering doesn’t just benefit the children – it can also enable employees to develop their skills and get a fresh perspective on banking.
Elaine Kam, an HSBC employee who volunteers with JA Canada in a local school, said: “I am often impressed by the students’ thoughtful answers and creative ideas. I feel energised and excited about the future going back to the office after each class.”
Reaching new audiences online
The work with JA WW is one of a number of financial capability programmes backed by HSBC – including several already exploring the power of digital channels to reach younger audiences.
In early 2020, for example, the bank supported DoSomething.org – a US organisation that focuses on young people and social change – to run an online campaign called ‘Would You Rather?’
It posed young people finance-related dilemmas to help them think about the value of money in an engaging way. Questions included: if it would help you save money, would you rather share a mobile phone with your grandma, or share a closet with your ex?
More than 70,000 young people took part in March and April. They received a personal finance guide on how to take control of their financial lives, including hints and tips on earning, saving, and spending wisely.
The feedback was positive. “Highly recommend,” wrote one participant. “Wayyyy more helpful than our one class [in college] on how to cash a cheque!”