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CHOICE calls on schools and parents to ditch Dollarmites

ASIC finds little evidence school banking works.

jonathan brown choice senior media adviser holding cba dollarmites sign
Last updated: 30 September 2019

Need to know

  • Banking regulator ASIC has released new research questioning the value of school banking programs such as Dollarmites
  • We gave Commonwealth Bank’s Dollarmites school banking program a Shonky award in 2018
  • ASIC is asking for public feedback and we encourage you to make your voice heard

It's been a year since we awarded a Shonky to the Commonwealth Bank's Dollarmites school banking program and now banking regulator ASIC has released new research questioning the effectiveness of these types of school banking programs.

"The Commonwealth Bank doesn't care about education," says CHOICE consumer advocate Jonathan Brown.

"The Dollarmites program is a thinly veiled marketing program to turn our kids into customers for life. ASIC's new research shows there is little evidence that these bank marketing programs actually work.

"If the Commonwealth Bank really cared about education, we would have a whole generation of Australians feeling secure and financially sound. Instead we have some of the highest household debt in the world."

cba dollarmites bank scandal find a word parody

We think marketing financial products at kids with fun games and cartoon characters is seriously shonky.

The Dollarmites program is estimated to be worth nearly $10 billion, with 46% of Australians opening their first account with the Commonwealth Bank. 34% of people still have their first bank account.

However, ASIC's research released today has found little evidence that school banking schemes like Dollarmites help kids' long-term saving habits.

ASIC is asking for feedback on the report, and we encourage you to make your voice heard. Join CHOICE's call to ditch Dollarmites and contribute to ASIC's review.

"We've heard from parents across the country who are fed up with their children being targeted as future customers," says Brown.

Children are in schools to be educated, not to be sitting ducks for marketers, including banks

CHOICE supporter, Alice, NSW

"Commonwealth Bank are relying on nostalgia and memories of toys and cartoon characters to avoid scrutiny. It's vital that every Australian parent who is worried about corporations in our schools speaks up. Our kids need us to speak up."

CHOICE supporter Alice from NSW says: "Children are in schools to be educated, not to be sitting ducks for marketers, including banks."

"There is no need for banks to invade schools, it is not in the kid's best interest," says CHOICE supporter Ken from Victoria.

Concerned parents can join CHOICE's call to ditch Dollarmites

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