The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is seeking applications from institutions for its Youth Savings Pilot, a program designed to foster financial education through the opening of safe, low-cost savings accounts by school-age children.
Nine financial institutions are currently partnering with schools across the country as part of the initial phase of the FDIC’s Youth Savings Pilot. Several of the banks, including those in Athol, Mass.; Muscle Shoals, Ala.; and Treynor, Iowa, oversee in-school bank branches that encourage students to open and manage savings accounts at school. The banks also promote financial education instruction. In some cases, that instruction is being led by other students whom the bank has trained and equipped to deliver lessons to their peers.
In one program, high school seniors are working as tellers at in-school branches located in the Bronx and Harlem (in New York City); Newark, N.J.; and Riverdale, Md.
“Linking financial education with an opportunity to open a safe, low-cost savings account can help young people better develop good savings habits and promote financial inclusion for students and their families,” FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg said. “We look forward to learning more about how to build successful youth savings programs during the next school year as the FDIC continues to promote and strengthen such programs.”
The FDIC is seeking expressions of interest from institutions to participate in the second phase of the pilot through June 18, 2015. These banks should be interested in expanding existing youth savings programs or developing new programs during the upcoming (2015-2016) school year. More information, including the full list of Phase I participants, can be found at http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/banking/youthsavingspilot/.
In addition to fostering the development of individual programs, the FDIC connects participants in the pilot program to each other to share best practices and to help banks identify and address operational challenges. The FDIC plans to issue a report on both phases of the pilot in the fall of 2016.