Young people are at risk of falling victim to fraud through lack of banking knowledge. However, a new money management project is supporting 16 to 25 year olds in the UK to become more financially aware.
A recent report from the Money Advice Service shows young people are struggling to keep up with their financial commitments. Many keep track of spending ‘in their head’ which can leave them open to scams and fraudulent activity within their bank accounts, particularly if they don’t check their statements each month. Barclays Money Skills ‘champions’ is a nationwide project that supports young people to understand the implications of their own financial choices and demystifies the world of banking, loans and credit.
The project provides interactive, training on budgeting, spending, saving, investing, using credit and avoiding debt, including sessions with Citizens Advice Bureau and volunteers who provide the participants with up-to-date, relevant information.
After attending a training session, one of the young people decided to check their bank statement. “I noticed some transactions on my account that I didn’t think I had made. I rang my bank to discuss it and was shocked to realise that somebody had been taking money out of my account.”
“I had around eighty pounds taken in total. Luckily, the bank got my money back, but I could have lost a lot more if I hadn’t been reminded to check at the training. I didn’t know I was a victim of fraud because I never checked my bank statement. This is something that I will be talking to my friends about.”
Fiona Blacke, Chief Executive at the National Youth Agency said, “Although young people appear to know that it’s important to think about how much they’re earning, spending and saving, they don’t necessarily know how to do it effectively.
“It is essential that the information they receive is accurate, to ensure they are appropriately equipped to negotiate financial problems and money management issues. The project will prepare young people that need it most with skills and knowledge to support themselves and their friends. We are delighted that significant investment is being made into young people’s futures.”
Barclays Money Skills champions is run in partnership between Barclays and a consortium of leading youth charities, including the National Youth Agency, UK Youth, Rathbone UK and Citizens Advice. To date, the project has trained over 3,000 young people to not only manage their own personal finances, but collectively share their knowledge with over 70,000 of their peers. By 2014, the project aims to train 5,000 ‘champions’ and reach 100,000 young people nationwide.