Straightforward schooling

At 2 December 2010, members of the press and six members of the Danish parliament were invited to Holbergskolen in Copenhagen. Their objective was to see how the pupils in 8. Y uses Control Your Money, which is an online learning universe and one of the Danske Bank Group’s initiatives in the Financial Literacy Programme, aimed at educating next generation consumers about money and personal finances.

Low level of basic financial literacy
One of the politicians told a story about when he was a student and one of his friends bought an expensive pair of shoes. According to the friend, money was no problem – he just bought it “on the card”. And even though the incident occurred some years ago, surveys carried out by YouGov Zapera show that young people do not fully understand the consequences of their spending habits.

42 % of 18-19-year-olds do not know what “interest” means, and 23% do not know that interest-only loans are not free. 

Relevance to the young people
Lea Siewertsen is 8. Y’s math teacher, and she is one of the many teachers using Control Your Money.

“The good thing about Control Your Money is that it uses scenarios from children’s everyday lives. This means that the children can relate to the personal financial situations,” she says. According to Lea Siewertsen, another advantage of Control Your Money is that it meets requirements of streaming in teaching. “Pupils learn in different ways, and through games you reach many more of them than you might have done otherwise. The more channels the better. Personal finances are difficult – also for adults.”

Political debate
Both wings of the Danish parliament were present at the event, and the opinions about the Danske Bank Group taking responsibility for children’s education were split. Still, everybody agreed that Control Your Money, and the other initiatives to increase financial literacy, haveFoto af Mads Helleberg Dorff Christiansen been established for the benefit of the children. And it is a positive fact that the concept is "non-branded" – meaning that there are no apparent indications that it comes from the Danske Bank Group.

Interest in educating young people
"To succeed in attracting six members of the Danish parliament to our Control Your Money event on a cold winter’s morning – and to have both wings represented – shows something about the political interest in educating children and young people about money and personal finances,” says Mads Helleberg Dorff Christiansen, project manager of the Financial Literacy programme.
Politicians in Finland and Norway have also shown great interest in Control Your Money.

Published on 7 December 2010

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