Children spending online before getting money lessons

The vast majority of children aged between eight and 11 are shopping online, buying apps and have bank accounts, according to new research.

YouGov …

The vast majority of children aged between eight and 11 are shopping online, buying apps and have bank accounts, according to new research.

YouGov carried out the stud for the British Bankers' Association (BBA) and financial education charity the Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg), and found this is happening before the age the government intends to introduce formal financial education for school pupils.

Some 64 per cent of children get their first bank or building society account before they start secondary school, meaning they are likely to have access to money before they really know how it works.

They are also buying items online, or at least having someone else make the purchase, with 58 per cent doing so before the age of 12.

Devices such as tablets are increasing in popularity and the study found 68 per cent of eight to 15 year olds have access to one, with 55 per cent of these users having downloaded a paid for app either on their own or with help.

This figure becomes even higher when focusing on eight to 11 year olds, with over 74 per cent of these primary school aged youngsters having access to a tablet. Some 57 per cent of kids in this age group have downloaded an app.

It is a concern that youngsters have access to these services so soon in their lives as many do not have the required knowledge about banking and personal finance.

Indeed, just 23 percent of eight to 15 year olds have heard of a current account and know how it works, while only 13 per cent are aware of overdrafts and claim they understand them well.

Both the BBA and pfeg welcome the government's financial education initiative set to commence in September 2014, but they are concerned there is still no provision for primary school children or those in the coalition's flagship free schools and academies.

Anthony Browne, BBA chief executive, said: "Being able to handle money issues properly is one of the most important life skills for all of us, helping protect people from debt problems and financial distress. That's why we would like the government to extend these important lessons to all children."

By Joe White

Tell others:

shortlink