October 5, 2017

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.

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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.

“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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Do your children have a dollarmite account? Do you think it is a fair money making tool for schools and banks?

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Image via CHOICE


  • It’s a service. If you object, don’t use it.

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  • Seems Choice has joined The Barefoot Investor in this regard. Such a pity that saving is being used almost as a blackmailing tool by the CBA. Just so wrong for this to happen.

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  • A double agenda is always questionable !

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  • I am taken by that sad little face in the picture.

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  • I opened up an account when I was at school. I thought it was a good idea because it taught me to save my money and watch my account grow. There is no such thing at the school my children went to. I can’t see the problem with it as it is a way for the schools to fundraise as long as the children aren’t being pressured into opening an account and putting money in regularly

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  • I don’t see the problem. My kids have a dollarmites account, as did I and if the school benefits from the fact that kids are learning responsible money handling, then good for the school.

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  • My child did not have a school banking account, and I don’t think any company should be able to advertise their products to children in this way.

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  • I will be closing my girls dollarmite accounts – they have their school banking account and another one we set up with a credit union. I’m going to have to side with choice – I personally don’t think it is great that CBA have the monopoly on school banking – maybe it just shows their business morals?

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  • My son has a kids account at the bendigo bank because its the bank I use. Its me teaching him about money and saving.

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  • I heard it on the radio yesterday, ridiculous wanting to ban school banking. It’s a great way for kids to learn about saving and finances.


    • It is a good incentive for sure and children have goals and aim to save towards them and they will have to do the same thing later in life.

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  • These types of accounts and savings are a good financial incentive and if the school benefits and the funds go into the school and running the school I do not see a problem. Schools are expensive to operate. Children love to watch their savings grow and the key is to teach financial literacy from a young age.

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  • It’s great to teach kids to safe money and handle money wisely, but that doesn’t have to go via a school banking account. Our kids never had a school banking account or a dollar mite plan.

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  • I actually agree with this. We shouldn’t allow any banking organisation access to our kids like this. Banks know that people are very unlikely to change banks

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  • Is it such a bad thing? I think it’s great to encourage kids to think about saving.

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  • I opened bank accounts for my kids before they started school and joined them to the bank I use. So I wasn’t swayed by anyone else. It is a low way of earning more revenue for the bank tho by pushing it at schools. My kids loved it. By the time they finished school, they had enough saved to buy their first cars

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