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The ‘concerning’ findings unearthed by a damning investigation into school banking

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Article image for The ‘concerning’ findings unearthed by a damning investigation into school banking

A damning report has revealed banks have paid schools millions to implement their banking programs.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) yesterday released the findings of its two-year review into school banking programs.

In the financial year to June 2018, banks paid almost $2.5 million to schools which offered their banking programs.

Consumer Action Law Centre CEO, Gerard Brody, says the findings are “concerning”.

“The report discloses that a number of institutions, particularly the larger school banking provider — the Commonwealth Bank — pays schools for implementing school banking programs and this incentivises schools to encourage greater participation in the program,” he told Tony Jones, filling in for Neil Mitchell.

The ASIC report found banks made “unsubstantiated” claims that their banking programs led to an increased understanding of money and savings.

“Of course we want to have financial literacy in schools,” Mr Brody said.

“But what we don’t … want is for that education to be provided by the big banks, or for them to have a say in how that education is provided, because it does raise questions about conflict of interest.

“Young people, in particular, are probably more vulnerable to marketing tactics.”

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