ankers believe that cultivating financial literacy within their communities, particularly among school-age children, is a fundamental part of their mission. A public with good saving, budgeting and financial planning skills and habits dovetails
with financial institutions’ core civic role in safekeeping deposits, providing credit to households and building wealth. With financial literacy education mostly absent from standard school curriculums, it is often up to the industry to provide it, a responsibility it welcomes both out of a sense of duty and a recognition of the opportunity to shape a reputation that has been damaged by periodic scandals and bailouts.
Financial institutions often struggle with establishing a direct business case for supporting K-12 financial literacy, however, and frequently fail to optimize the funds they devote toward educational initiatives.
Experienced partners with proven records of quality school programming can be decisive in achieving positive outcomes among students and enhancing sponsors’ images in the community, and programs can be tailored to drive and measure return on investment.
To better understand the industry’s convictions about financial education; its level and modes of involvement; and its challenges, pain points and objectives, NTC Corporate commissioned the research unit of SourceMedia, the publisher of American Banker, to survey 235 executives at financial institutions with K-12 financial literacy programs. All respondents lead, manage or are otherwise involved in the K-12 initiatives at their institutions, which are headquartered across the United States, range the asset-size spectrum and include retail banks, thrifts, credit unions and investment banks (see Figures 1 and 2)