Junior and Youth Banking

The 2016 Junior and Youth Banking award ratings looks at 29 financial institutions to find out what they are currently offering young people.

 

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Helpful Information

What is a youth banking account?

A youth banking account is a bank account designed for young people up to a certain age, which usually doesn’t charge any account-keeping fees. If you want to save for something special, you’ll want a savings account. If you want to access your money with lots of purchases, you’ll want a transaction account.

Youth banking accounts usually come in slightly different packaging for two different age groups:

  • Juniors – Under 12s
  • Youths – Under 18s

Juniors and Youth are both learning about how to manage money, but they each use their money for different things, so they have different banking needs. So it makes sense that we look at each of them separately.

Once you turn 13 years old, you can usually operate your own bank account without needing your parent to open it for you, but your parent will often still need to sign a guarantee of indemnity.

These days it seems parents have done a good job in teaching their kids the value of money – even “invisible” money on cards and online in accounts. According to the 2016 Common Cents Quiz by CommBank, more than 2 in 3 kids (68%) would rather save their money than spend it! (Compared to 47% in 2014.) And 82% of kids are expected to do some chores to earn their pocket money, so they really value what they get.

But there’s always room to grow. This is why it’s so important that Junior Savers save up to buy things using our own pocket money, not just ask Mum or Dad for money.

 

Who is eligible for a youth banking account?

Some banks offer youth banking accounts to different age groups – some to Juniors and Youths under 18; some just to Juniors under 12; and some to a specific age range in the middle there.

As the leaders of the future, you deserve to fully understand how to manage your money and make the most of it. Here at CANSTAR, we encourage banks to make it fun to learn about money, whether you’re a Junior or Youth customer. Every year, we give the Junior and Youth Banking Awards to the banks or financial institutions that offer the best bank accounts for Juniors and for Youth.

Many banks have youth banking accounts that you can keep right up until you are 21 or 25 years old, for people who are studying full-time at university, TAFE, VET, or an apprenticeship or traineeship. Some of this guide will apply to these tertiary students as well as to Juniors and Youth, but our Savings Account, Transaction Account, and Budgeting & Saving sections would probably be more useful to you.

 

What to look for in a youth banking account

There are a few basic features to look for in a Junior Saver or Junior Transactor account, depending on your personal situation:

  1. High interest rate (beware of high introductory rates that return to lower rates after a time)
  2. No account-keeping fees
  3. Maximum number of free transactions (purchases)
  4. Minimum deposit amounts you can afford to make
  5. Online banking available
  6. Online education tools for learning about how to manage your money
  7. A School Banking program if you’re under 12
  8. Low or no fees on other account features such as ATM withdrawals
  9. A branch and an ATM near you for when you need it
  10. Account personalisation options, so that you can set up sub-accounts for your savings goals

Junior Savers are born when parents help us to build our own money-handling skills instead of just handling money for us. Having our own bank account teaches us how to deposit and withdraw money, and how to grow our savings. We need a high interest rate so we can see our money growing, and no account fees, so that our savings are protected. It’s also helpful if relatives can deposit money into our account as well, for pocket money or birthday money.

When it comes to Youths (Under 18s), saving is still important – because the financial goals are now bigger – but our account needs to have the maximum number of free transactions. You could have a separate savings and transactions account if necessary and transfer money between them. Your accounts need to come with online banking and an ATM card or debit card.

We recommend that young people stick to using an ATM card (for cash withdrawals) or a debit card (a.k.a. bank card) attached to their savings and transactions account. A debit card lets you make purchases and withdraw cash at ATMs, and you can only spend up to the amount of money that you have deposited into your account. Most banks require you to be a certain age before adding a debit card to your account (e.g. with Westpac and ANZ, you have to be 16 years old).

 

Interest rates on offer for youth banking accounts

As of August 2016, total interest rates (base rates + bonus interest rates) for Junior Savings Accounts on our database range from 0% to 3.40%.

The average interest rates for savings accounts have dropped slightly in recent months, as the Reserve Bank of Australia has lowered the official cash rate to a record low of 1.50%. But thankfully, the drop hasn’t been very large at all.

Every bank has a different balance of high bonus rates and low base rates for junior accounts, so it definitely pays to do your research and look at a range of accounts before picking an account. You can compare Junior Savings Accounts on our website.

Kids can earn extra in bonus interest if they stick to the conditions required by certain savings accounts. But you usually have to deposit a certain amount into your account each month, and make no withdrawals or only a few withdrawals. Check the terms and conditions before you just automatically pick the account with the highest interest rate. If you’re not sure you can meet the conditions, you might be better off with a savings or transaction account with a flat base rate.

 

Common fees on youth banking accounts

Some common fees to look out for on youth savings or transaction accounts are:

  • Monthly account-keeping fees
  • Branch deposit fees
  • Over-the-counter transaction fees
  • Eftpos fees
  • Electronic/online transaction fees
  • ATM withdrawal fees, from both “own” and “other” branded ATMs

The good news is that most youth banking accounts do not charge account-keeping fees, and many more will waive the monthly account-keeping fee if you deposit a certain amount each month. This amount can be quite small – as low as $0 to $6 with some institutions (at the time of writing).

During the GFC, the Australian federal government introduced the Australian Government Deposit Guarantee Scheme on all bank deposits – including savings accounts – that held up to $250,000. This scheme means that if another financial crisis hits, or your bank goes bust, the government has promised that you will not lose your money because they will pay the bank that money.

Only authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) are in the guarantee scheme, which are approved financial institutions such as banks, building societies, and credit unions. The guarantee does apply if you’re with a foreign bank that has a branch here in Australia, but it will not apply if you’re with an Australian bank but you’re using an overseas branch.

You can check whether your bank is included in the government guarantee scheme by reading the list of Guaranteed Liabilities. For more information about the Financial Claims Scheme, see the government’s website or APRA’s website on this topic.

What deposits are covered by the government deposit guarantee?

The Financial Claims Scheme covers a wide range of deposits including:

  • Savings accounts
  • Cash management accounts
  • Call deposit accounts (at-call account or combined savings and checking account)
  • Deposit accounts
  • Debit card accounts
  • Transaction accounts
  • Cheque accounts
  • Term deposits
  • First home saver deposit accounts
  • Farm management deposits
  • Pensioner deeming accounts
  • Mortgage offset accounts
  • Trustee accounts
  • Retirement savings accounts (SMSF savings accounts)

How to set up a budget:

It might not seem like the most thrilling of tasks, but writing your own budget from scratch is the most important lesson you’ll ever learn when it comes to managing your money.

In fact, you’ll probably end up writing lots of budgets for yourself through the course of your life, from saving up pocket money to get a remote-controlled car, to saving your part-time job wages for a real car.

To help you, there are tools you can use to make your budget, like the CANSTAR Budget Planner Calculator or the MoneySmart Budget Planner. If you don’t know how much you spend each week, try using the MoneySmart TrackMySpend app to track your spending for a month before writing your budget.

Here’s a basic list of things to include in your budget:

  1. Income: Everything you earn each week, whether it’s pocket money or job wages or government student allowances.
  2. Expenses:
    1. Fixed regular expenses (things you need): All the purchases that you make regularly every week, where the amount of money you spend is generally the same each time. Good examples are tuckshop/canteen money if you usually buy your school lunches once or twice a week, sports club membership fees, and mobile phone credit. If you already have a bank account, go through your most recent statements and write into your budget everything that you actually spend every week.
    2. Other expenses (things you want): Any purchases you make by choice, including clothes, extra food or snacks, toys, music downloads, going to the movies or the footy, make-up, or gifts for your family and friends. Obviously you should make sure you save some money to do fun things like this – but you can choose how often and how much you spend on these things.
    3. Savings goals: You might want to save money up to make a large purchase, such as a giant LEGO set, a concert ticket, or a car. To save money for this, you will need to set aside a certain amount of your income each week and not spend that money. You might want to consider putting these savings into a separate moneybox or a sub-account within your bank account.
    4. Annual and monthly expenses: There are some things that we only pay for once a year, or once a month, and these also need to go in the budget. The easiest way to make sure you budget for these items is to call them a savings goal, and save a little bit of money each week so that you can afford to pay for them when you need to pay them. Divide the amount into little chunks so you can work out how many weeks you will need to save for, and how much you will need to put aside towards that goal every week.
  3. The bottom line: At the bottom of your budget, you should add up the total of your expenses and your weekly contribution to your savings goals, then subtract that total from your income. If the number is positive (e.g. $2), well done! You have a budget that will allow you to “live within your means”, meaning you are spending less than you earn. If the number is negative (e.g. -$5), then there is a problem, because it means you are spending more money than you have. You will need to reconsider some of your expenses and rewrite your budget until you know that you can afford to live within it.

 

How to read your bank statement

A statement is a paper or electronic document sent to you from your bank that shows your balance (how much money is left in your account) and your expenses for that month or quarter.

Here are the main things you need to understand on your statement for a savings or transaction account:

  • Statement Period: 1 November 2016 – 30 November 2016
    (This statement is only talking about transactions made in the month of November.)
  • Acc No: 1234-5678
    (This is your account number.)
  • BSB: 123-456
    (This is your bank’s branch identification number. When you give someone like your employer your bank details so that they can pay you, they will need both your account number and your BSB number.)
  • Debit Card No: 1234-5678-9012-3456
    (This is your debit or ATM card attached to your account.)
  • Daily Limit: $500
    (If you have a debit card, the bank sets a daily limit of how much money you can spend each day. This helps you not to spend all of your money at once.)
  • Opening Balance: $1,400
    (At the start of November, you had $1,400 in your account.)
  • Closing Balance: $1,450
    (At the end of November, you now have $1,450 in your account. If your closing balance is higher than your opening balance, well done – you have increased your savings!)
  • Payments and other credits received: $100
    (In November, the deposits made to your account by you, your family, your employer, and interest from the bank added up to a total of $100.)
  • Purchases and other debits: $50
    (In November, the purchases you made using your account added up to $50.)
  • Transactions: 10 November Telstra Australia Prepaid       $30
    (The statement will have a list of all the transactions made in November, money in and money out. The transactions should be listed in order by date, with transaction details of people who paid you money and people you paid money to, and the amount paid. Check every statement to make sure every transaction has been recorded correctly.)

You should always, always, always read every statement you get from your bank so that you know if something is not right in the statement. Then you can make a complaint and ask them to fix it.

Here are some things you should always check on your statement:

  • Is my name spelled correctly? Is my address listed correctly?
  • Are all the transactions correct? Do I recognise all of them and remember what they were for? Is the amount incorrect for any of the transactions, when I check them against the receipts I got when I made those payments?
  • Did I receive interest (if I did everything I needed to do in order to earn interest, i.e. made deposits, etc.)?
  • Are all the deposits that I made this month listed with the correct amount and on the correct date?
  • Have I been charged any fees that I do not think are correct?

A common example of something you would need to call your bank to fix is incorrectly charged fees. If the bank has accidentally charged you two lots of ATM fees for making one ATM withdrawal, you will see it on the statement. You can phone the bank and ask them to give you back the money for one of the ATM fees.

If something is not right in your statement and your bank does not fix it after you’ve asked them to, you can make a complaint to the free Financial Ombudsman Service by phoning 1300 780 808.

 

Some savings tips to live within your means

Savings tips for Juniors:

  • Make a budget! If you know how much pocket money you earn each week, you can work out how many weeks you will have to save your money and not spend it if you want to buy something expensive.
  • You can usually earn pocket money by doing chores around the house. Ask your parents what chores they would like for you to do, and how much they will pay you every week if you do those chores.
  • There is a big difference between things you need and things you want. You need to save up patiently and make choices about what you will spend your money on – needs or wants.
  • Compare the prices of different items before you choose which item you will buy.
  • You don’t need to buy your lunch at the tuckshop or canteen every day.

Savings tips for Youths:

  • Make a budget!
  • It is better to use cash or debit for purchases instead of credit. Credit means you owe other people money and you have to pay them back with interest added on top.
  • It is good to have savings set aside in case a money emergency comes up.
  • If you have a part-time job, check every single payslip you get, to make sure you are being paid the correct amount for the correct number of hours. Also check that you are paying the correct amount of tax and that your employer is contributing to a super fund for you. You can find more tips for your first job at the MoneySmart Under 25s website.
  • Keep track of how much data and credit you’ve used on your mobile phone, so that you don’t spend all of your prepaid credit or go over your plan’s cap.
  • You don’t need to buy afternoon tea at the local hang-out every day – you can hang out with your friends without spending money.
  • Look around for the cheapest price and the best value deal before you purchase anything.
  • Shopping lists aren’t just for groceries. Make a shopping list before you go out, so that you don’t make impulse buys and spend more money than you wanted to.
  • Wait 30 days before making any purchase more expensive than $20. That way, you know whether you really want or need it, because after 30 days you’ll either still be into it or you’ll have forgotten about it.
  • Fashion changes constantly. Don’t bother trying to buy clothes for every new trend – just buy a few things that fit you comfortably and make you feel like yourself and confident.
  • If you accidentally pop a button on your jeans, don’t just go shopping for a replacement. Get out a needle and thread, or ask your parents to show you how to fix it. It’s a priceless life skill.
  • Meet your friends at each other’s houses. If you meet at the shops, you will be tempted to spend money on things you don’t need. It’s that simple.
  • Choose free over paying when it comes to entertainment. Go to a free concert instead of Taylor Swift. Hold a Netflix movie night instead of going to the movie cinemas.
  • When buying gifts for family and friends, planning ahead and shopping during sales can save heaps of money. Buying at the last minute always costs more. And remember – it’s not a cliche; handmade gifts and cards really do mean more.
  • Drink water. It’s free to refill your own water bottle everywhere you go, and it’s super healthy because it’s nature’s number one cleanser and rehydrater. It’s getting ridiculously expensive to buy other drinks like bottled water, juice, soft drink, or energy drinks.
  • If you like to go shopping when you’re stressed, try doing something else to relax. Go for a walk. Meditate or pray. If the urge to window shop is too much, then do it safely: Read blogs about the type of fashion you’re into, and Pinterest the things you’re interested in.

 

Money-wasting traps to watch out for

  • Mobile phones: If you go over your plan by using too much data or sending too many texts, your mobile phone bill will be very expensive. When you’re young, it is a lot easier to stick to a pre-paid mobile phone, so you can’t spend more than the credit you load onto your phone.
  • Eating out: When you and your friends go hang out at Macca’s after school every day, it can be tempting to spend money every time you go there. But you don’t have to buy anything unless you are actually hungry and you know dinner won’t be for a while. A cheaper option is to pack an extra apple for those post-school, pre-dinner munchies.
  • Buying online: When you buy something online, it’s harder to remember that you’re spending money because the money is invisible. If you want to buy something online, always check your bank balance using online banking first, and check your budget as well, so that you know whether you can afford it. (Remember to log out of online banking before making the purchase, so you don’t accidentally let a hacker take your money.)
  • Bank fees: As a young person, you should not have to pay monthly account-keeping fees on your account, because you probably aren’t earning a whole stack of money. There are some fees that you probably will have to pay, like the fee if you use the wrong bank’s ATM instead of your own bank’s ATM. But these fees should be fairly small.

According to a Commonwealth Bank study in 2014, for the kids who usually spend their pocket money rather than save it, more than one quarter (28%) use online shopping. So our biggest “money trap” to watch out for would have to be online scams. You can find our tips for staying safe online and keeping your smartphone data safe on our Online Banking page.

History of School Banking

School Banking in Australia first began back in 1887 in NSW, with teachers keeping ledgers recording all the deposits and withdrawals for students.

In 1921, the Commonwealth Bank began giving kids in the school banking program money boxes to encourage them to save their pennies and pounds. The money boxes were so popular that the Commonwealth Bank started their Dollarmites Club in 1928, which is still the oldest and most well-known school banking program in Australia.

The original Dollarmites received money boxes shaped like CommBank’s headquarters building, which stood on the corner of Pitt Street and Martin Place in Sydney. You literally had to cut the money box open in order to access your savings – so kids were saving up for quite a while before spending their money!

 

What School Banking looks like these days

These days, School Banking runs all the way through primary school, and some programs continue into middle school and high school with educational workshops on how to manage money.

You usually get a passbook where you keep track of money getting put in and taken out of your account, and you use deposit envelopes to put money into your account. There are usually rewards when you reach certain amounts in savings. Lots of the programs have funny characters who teach you about how you can manage your money and save for the things you want.

Your school also benefits from School Banking because they usually receive a certain amount from the bank for each student who opens an account and for each deposit made by students.

Even your parents benefit from School Banking, because it means they don’t have to take you to visit a bank branch when you want to put your pocket money into your account.

To find out which financial institutions offer School Banking programs, read our latest Junior Banking Award report.

Please note that these are a general explanation of the meaning of terms used in relation to junior and youth banking accounts. Your bank or financial institution may use different terms, and you should read your product disclosure statement (PDS) carefully to understand everything that may apply to your account. You cannot rely on these terms in relation to any account you may open.

Account-keeping fees: An ongoing fee charged to cover the bank’s costs of creating and maintaining the account. You can generally expect that a good youth banking account will not charge an account-keeping fee.

Annual equivalent rate (AER): A rate that can be compared between lenders, which shows what compound interest rate would be paid once each year. Savings accounts must advertise their AER so that you can compare the interest you could actually expect to receive from the different accounts on offer.

At call: “At call” transaction or savings accounts allow you to immediately withdraw your money from the account whenever you like. This is different to other types of savings accounts, where you have to leave your money in the account for a certain amount of time if you want to earn interest.

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM): A machine found in public places or at bank branches, which allows you to withdraw cash from your account. ATMs are usually on 24/7 so that you can use them any time you need cash.

Balance: The amount of money currently in your transaction account.

Basis points: A financial unit of measurement that describes the percentage change in interest rates or the value of a financial product. One basis point is 0.01% or 0.0001 in decimal form.

Bonus savings account: Accounts that give you bonus interest if you deposit a certain amount of money into the account (usually around $50 or $100) and you meet the conditions, e.g. not making any withdrawals in that month.

BPay: Australia’s electronic system for paying bills. Payment of bills is made through a financial institution’s online or telephone banking facility to merchants who are listed on the register of BPAY billers.

Branch: The physical building where your bank or financial institution does its business. Branches are only open during normal working hours.

Cash: Money in the physical form of notes and coins.

Cheque account or checking account: A transaction account that allows you to make purchases with your own money by writing a cheque. If you do not have enough money in your account when the other person cashes your cheque into their own account, the cheque will “bounce”, meaning it is not paid and you may be charged a penalty fee.

Compound interest: Compound interest is when interest is calculated on the entire balance of your account, not just the initial amount you deposited when you opened the account. This means that every year, if you don’t withdraw your balance, you will be earning more interest because the balance of the account is getting bigger. All savings accounts should use compound interest.

Consumer: Someone who buys and uses products or services.

Credit card: A card that gives the account holder access to a line of credit, similar to a personal loan. You can spend up to a specified credit limit, but the money must be repaid, otherwise you start paying interest on the balance of the card (whatever you have spent). We do not recommend that Juniors or Youths apply for a credit card, because having one can tempt you to go on shopping sprees or to spend more money than you have. When you are young and have a limited income, a debit card is a more sensible choice.

Debit card: A card that is linked to a transaction account and allows the cardholder to make purchases at stores and online, and make cash withdrawals from an ATM. Also known as a bank card or cheque card. This is the type of card we recommend for all youth banking account holders.

Deposit: Money that you put into your bank account.

Direct deposit: When a transaction is automatically removed from an account and received into a different person’s account. For example, you might have a direct debit set up to top-up a prepaid mobile phone or pay a mobile phone plan bill every month.

Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS): A payment system where you use your debit card to make payment for goods or services, or to withdraw cash. EFTPOS machines are used to process these payments at shops.

Electronic banking: A broad term used to refer to the banking system where you use online banking, telephone banking, ATMs, or EFTPOS to access your account. You can use electronic banking to make withdrawals or other payments, deposits, or transfers.

Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS): Australia’s free and independent dispute resolution service that helps consumers make complaints and resolve disputes with their banks, insurers and other financial institutions.

GST (Goods and Services Tax): The Australian tax we pay when we buy goods and services.

Income: Money you earn, including hourly wages, salary, interest on your bank account balance, and government benefits such as Youth Allowance or Job Seeker.

Inflation: The percentage by which the price of goods and services rises each year across the country.

Introductory rate: A promotional rate offered by many savings accounts to grow your savings at a higher interest rate for a set period of time. At the end of the introductory bonus period, the interest rate will return to your normal base rate. An introductory rate is a type of promotional rate (see below).

Junior savings account: Savings accounts for children and youth, where the balance increases with interest applied. A parent or guardian usually operates the account in the child’s name until they reach legal age, but the child also has access to their account. You can compare Junior Savings Accounts on our website.

Junior transaction account: Transaction accounts for children and youth. A parent or guardian operates the account in the child’s name until they reach legal age, but the child also has access to their account.

Online savings account (OSA): A savings account that is managed primarily over the internet using online banking or a mobile banking app.

Pay Anyone: A payment system where you can transfer money to any individual or organisation using online or phone banking, as long as you have their account name and number, and their BSB number.

Promotional rate: A higher interest rate which is only offered during a specified time period. When the promotional period ends, the interest rate will generally return to the normal base rate.

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA): The central bank of Australia. It is a government-owned institution that issues our bank notes, sets the official cash rate to meet the inflation target, maintains our financial payments system, and manages Australia’s reserves of gold and foreign currencies.

Savings account: Bank accounts that pay interest to the account holder, and are not used to make transactions. They can be linked to transaction accounts so that you can transfer money from your savings to your transaction account when you have to make a big purchase.

Term deposits: An account with a financial institution where you deposit some money for a set period of time (the “term”) and you receive interest on that money at the end of the term. The interest rate is usually a fixed rate that doesn’t change over the term of the deposit. Term deposits usually give you a higher interest rate than a transaction account, but are not always higher than a high interest savings account. Fees are charged if you withdraw your money before the end of the term. Term deposits are also known as fixed deposits.

Transaction: The movement of money in or out of your account, including deposits, withdrawals, and transfers between bank accounts.

Transaction account: A deposit account that gives you frequent access to your money for transactions. You can use a debit card attached to the account to make EFTPOS transactions at the shops and online, to pay your phone bill, and to withdraw cash at ATMs or at a bank branch. You can also use your transaction account to write cheques if you ever need to.

Transfer: When you give the bank instructions to move money from one account to another account, e.g. moving money from your savings account to your transaction account. This is different to a “payment” where you send money from your account to somebody else’s account.

Withdrawal: When instructions are carried out to pay money out of your account and it is paid. A simple example is getting cash out of an ATM.

Who offers youth banking accounts in Australia?

For more information on how CANSTAR rates youth banking accounts, read our latest Youth Banking and Education Award report. These are the providers we have recently researched and rated:

  1. ANZ Bank: ANZ runs educational workshops for kids and youth. They also offer student banking accounts for under 18s, under 25s, and full-time students at university or TAFE/VET. ANZ has a long history, founded in 1835 in Sydney as the Bank of Australasia.
  2. Arab Bank: Arab Banks offers the Best Buddies school banking program. Arab Bank was the first private sector financial institution in the Arab world, founded in 1930 in Jerusalem (Mandatory Palestine). It is now one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East.
  3. Bank of Sydney: Bank of Sydney offers the KidsYouth school banking program, and runs educational workshops for kids and youth. With the Kidz Biz savings account, children can earn Moo Points. Each time they move up a level, from the Bronze to the Gold Moo-Point card, they earn a reward from stationery all the way up to a beach ball. Bank of Sydney was founded in 2001 and operates in Sydney (obviously), as well as Melbourne and Adelaide.
  4. BankVic: BankVic’s Little Copper Club for under 18s regularly holds competitions with great prizes. Kids also earn rewards for saving, including education grants and achievement awards. Little Coppers get a free policeman money box when they sign up, reflection BankVic’s heritage as the Police Credit Union (pre-2013). BankVic were established in 1974 to offer financial services to specific sectors of the community.
  5. Bankwest: Bankwest’s student account offers discounts from Student Edge for various popular brands including Hoyts Cinemas, City Beach, STA Travel, and even the Apple Store. Bankwest were founded in 1895 as the Agricultural Bank of Western Australia by the state government to provide for farmers. Back then, WA was so big and empty that staff would travel miles between farms, sleeping on the side of the road.
  6. bcu (Bananacoast Community Credit Union): bcu offers a specific website dedicated for their youth banking customers – Scoot’s Zone. Scoot is a dog and his interactive website includes educational games for learning about money matters. They also run educational workshops for kids and youth. bcu was founded in 1971 by a small group of banana farmers in Nambucca, NSW.
  7. B&E Personal Banking: B&E Personal Banking offer accounts for under 18s and under 13s, with an easy-to-use mobile banking app and other features. B&E was founded in 1870 by citizens who wanted to provide cooperative housing finance, starting with a pool of just $235. In 1978, B&E was the first permanent building society to break tradition by appointing Tasmania’s first female director, Rita King. They remain member-owned today.
  8. Bendigo Bank: Bendigo Bank offers a school banking program, and runs a 6-week, school-based ‘Get with the Program’ financial education program. They also offer a student account for over 12s, and are passionate about sponsoring students to attend youth leadership conferences such as Magic Moments. Bendigo Bank serve around 1.5 million customers across Australia.
  9. Beyond Bank: Beyond Bank has junior accounts for under 12s, BU accounts for under 18s, and student bank accounts for Over 18s. Juniors and Youth can also sign up for the Youth Community Reward Account, where the bank will donate an amount (at no cost to you) of 1.25% of your account balance to the charity or community organisation of your choice. Beyond Bank was founded in 2006 as Community CPS Australia. They are one of Australia’s largest customer-owned banks, with over 195,000 customers and 49 branches across the country.
  10. Cairns Penny Savings and Loans: Cairns Penny annually sponsors competitions for kids and youth to get involved in. Cairns Penny offers a school banking program, and runs educational workshops for kids and youth. First Penny Saver is their savings account for all under 18s. Cairns Penny was established in 1899 by a prominent group of local businessmen at a meeting at the School of Arts. The founders chose the penny as part of their bank’s name because they always said, “Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.”
  11. Catalyst Money: At the time of writing, Catalyst offers a fascinating Wildlife Saver account for under 14s, for Junior Savers who “want to learn about money and help endangered animals” (as does Illawarra Credit Union). Catalyst Money was founded in 1963 as the University of NSW Staff Credit Union. They were rebranded as Catalyst in 2011 with the focus on university staff and their families, using the slogan “Money for the Thinkers”.
  12. Commonwealth Bank: CommBank offers a wide range of banking solutions for kids, teens under 18, full-time students, and young adults under 21. They have one of the oldest and most well-known school banking programs for under 12s, the Dollarmites Club, which started in 1928. CommBank has also been running StartSmart educational workshops for kids and youth since 2007. They also have The Beanstalk to teach parents how to teach kids about money through the Youthsaver accounts, with educational games for learning about money. The Commonwealth Bank is Australia’s largest provider of financial services, founded in 1911 as our nation’s government bank.
  13. Community First Credit Union: Community First offers Junior Saver Accounts for under 18s. Community First was founded in 1959 and they have 76,000 members throughout Sydney and the Central Coast region.
  14. CUA: CUA offers Youth eSaver and Everyday Youth Accounts for under 18s. Founded in the 1940s in Queensland, CUA is now Australia’s largest customer-owned financial institution.
  15. Delphi Bank: Delphi Bank has a Junior Smart Saver for under 18s, with an ATM/EFTPOS card attached. Delphi Bank was formed after the Bank of Cyprus Australia was acquired by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank in March 2012.
  16. ECU (Electricity Credit Union): ECU offers accounts for under 13s and youths under 22. ECU Australia was founded in 1973 by a group of Cairns Regional Electricity Board employees.
  17. First Option Credit Union: First Option offers a kids bonus savings account, and has won various CANSTAR and Money Magazine awards over the years. First Option was founded in 1965 as TAB Credit Union (NSW), and rebranded as “First Option” in 2005.
  18. Gateway Credit Union: Gateway Credit Union offers the Dollaroo Savings Account for kids, and educational games for learning about money matters. Gateway Credit Union was established in 1955 and currently boasts a membership of over 30,000.
  19. Greater Building Society: The Greater donates $2 to Youth Off The Streets every time someone opens a Life Saver youth banking account (under 25s). For Juniors, The Greater offers the Little Bucks account. The Greater Building Society was founded in 1945 and they serve over 250,000 customers.
  20. Horizon Credit Union: Horizon Credit Union offers youth accounts for under 18s and under 13s. They have a dedicated website, Savings Squad, to help kids reach their savings goals. Horizon was founded in 1964 for employees of the Illawarra County Council but is open to the public these days.
  21. Hume Bank (formerly Hume Building Society): Hume Bank offers a school banking program for under 12s with the Clancy Koala Account, and runs educational workshops for kids and youth. They also have a specific website dedicated for their youth banking customers in the Junior Saver Club, including educational games for learning about money matters. Hume Bank was founded in 1955 in the Albury-Wodonga region as the Hume Co-operative Building & Investment Society, and now has more than 58,000 customers across NSW and Victoria.
  22. Illawarra Credit Union: As with Catalyst Money, Illawarra Credit Union offers a Wildlife Saver account for under 14s who care about wildlife and saving money. They also offer transaction accounts for under 18s and under 23s who are students. Illawarra Credit Union was founded in 1972 to serve the Illawarra region in NSW.
  23. IMB: IMB offers a school banking program, and offers the Zoo Account for kids under 13 and Kick Start accounts for youths under 18. Established as the Illawarra Mutual Building Society approximately 135 years ago, IMB became a mutual bank on 1st August 2015. IMB Bank has branches in 44 locations across every state and territory in Australia and serves around 180,000 members. IMB members get a 15% discount of membership to the University of Wollongong’s Early Start Discovery Space for kids.
  24. Intech Credit Union: Intech offers cleverly-named accounts for under 5s (Pixels), under 12s (Widgets), and under 18s (Terabytes). Intech Credit Union was founded in 1962 as the Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC) Credit Union, by the employees of what is now Telstra, and employees of IBM joined later.
  25. MyState: MyState runs educational workshops for kids and youth and offers an interest-earning ‘at call’ account for under 18s. MyState Bank has been Tasmania’s largest bank for almost 50 years.
  26. NAB: NAB offers the Junior Reward Saver for under 18s. NAB was founded in 1981 and is one of the big four banks in Australia, with over 12.7 million customers worldwide.
  27. Newcastle Permanent: Newcastle Permanent offers a school banking program, and has a Money Minder savings account to teach children good savings habits. Newcastle Permanent was founded in 1903 as a Starr-Bowkett society to help low income families afford to buy their own home.
  28. Northern Beaches Credit Union: Northern Beaches offers junior saver accounts for under 12s and under 18s, and student accounts for under 25s. Northern Beaches Credit Union was founded in 1965 as a division of Community First Credit Union, and remains locally-owned and run.
  29. People’s Choice Credit Union: People’s Choice offers a Young Saver account for under 18s. People’s Choice began in 1949 and has over 345,000 members.
  30. Police Bank: Police Bank offers a kids savings account (Dynamo) for under 18s. Police Bank began as the NSW Police Credit Union, and was officially registered for business in 1964 with just 60 members.
  31. QPCU: QPCU offers accounts for juniors under 12 and teens under 18. The Queensland Police Credit Union was founded in 1964 for the Blueys, our brave folk in blue.
  32. SCU: SCU runs school banking and educational workshops for kids and youth. Security Credit Union (SCU) was founded in 1963 for the employees of the City of Sydney Council.
  33. Suncorp Bank: Suncorp offers a specific website dedicated for their youth banking customers with the Kids Savings Account, including educational games for learning about money. Suncorp was founded in 1902 and remains Australia’s leading bank in regional areas.
  34. Teachers Mutual Bank: Teachers Mutual Bank offers a specific website dedicated for their under 18s youth banking customers – Tiny Monsters Bank – including educational games for learning about money matters. They also have some more grown-up money tips, tools, and learning activities for teens. Teachers Mutual Bank started life as the Hornsby Teachers Association Credit Union in1966, with 29 members and $644 in deposits. They became Teachers Mutual Bank in April 2012.
  35. The Mutual: The Mutual offers a school banking program, and runs educational workshops for kids and youth. They offer the Mighty Mutual account for under 13s, and the Student Saver for under 18s. The Mutual (Maitland Mutual Building Society Ltd) was founded in 1888 and weathered the flood, depression and financial crisis of the 1890s.
  36. The Rock: The Rock runs educational workshops for kids and youth. They offer age-specific accounts for kids under 13, teens under 18, and the Student Survivor Account for full-time students at university, agricultural college and pastoral college. The Rock was founded in 1967 in Rockhampton, Queensland (hence the name).
  37. Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank: Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank provides a First Access Account and First Saver Account for under 18s. Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank was founded in 1972 in Melbourne, to provide for the financial needs of those working in education. The bank started with just $480 in start-up capital, but now has over 100,000 members.
  38. Westpac: Westpac offers a variety of low cost accounts for under 12s to under 21s, as well as full-time tertiary students. Westpac was established in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales and serves around 13 million customers, as one of the big four Australian banks. They own a number of other banking brands including St. George, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, and RAMS.