CHOICE is calling for a ban on school banking schemes such as the Commonwealth Bank’s iconic Dollarmites accounts
CHOICE claims these programs allow banks to pay “kickbacks” to schools to “flog their products”.
Choice said the long-running Dollarmites program relies on “conflicted remuneration” to sign up young customers, as CBA pays schools when new accounts are opened, or cash is deposited.
Choice claimed school banking programs were used to increase sales and market brands to children, and CBA’s dominance gave it an “effective monopoly” in signing very young customers.
It called for a ban on banks providing financial services and branded materials through schools, or failing that, a ban on banks paying commissions to schools linked to children’s bank accounts.
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“School banking programs such as the Commonwealth Bank’s Dollarmites program give banks unfettered access to market their brand to schoolchildren,” chief executive Alan Kirkland said.
“It is time to take banks out of financial literacy education, and to stop them from paying schools commissions to flog their products,” Mr Kirkland said.
CBA pays schools $5 for every account opened via the program, and 5 per cent of every deposit made at school, up to a maximum of $10 per deposit.
The bank says the program, established in 1931, gives schools a “fundraising opportunity”.
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