First Schools Credit Union

Following the joy (and expense) of Christmas, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrea Leadsom, today (31 December 2014) announced that the government will fund a pilot programme to help children develop good financial habits at a young age by setting up savings clubs in primary schools in partnership with credit unions.

Research indicates that children develop their attitudes towards money long before they reach secondary school age, with the Money Advice Service suggesting that most children have formed their financial habits by the age of 7.

The ‘LifeSavers’ project, which is led by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s task group on responsible credit and savings, will seek to equip children with good financial habits by educating them about the benefits of saving at an early age. It will also introduce children to credit unions, which play a key role in providing financial services to more than a million customers across Britain.

Encapsulating the credit union spirit, ‘LifeSavers’ will involve the whole community and will engage the help of teachers, parents and community volunteers to ensure its success. The project will pilot in six schools in its first year in south-east London (Lewisham/Bromley), Bradford and Nottingham, before rolling out to up to 100 schools over the next four years, benefitting up to 30, 000 pupils.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrea Leadsom said:

A key part of our long term economic plan is to secure peoples’ financial futures. And at a time when young people are exposed to financial decisions earlier than ever, LifeSavers is a welcome initiative from the Church of England and the credit union movement. The project will help to tackle the root cause of money problems and develop good savings habits as early as possible.

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