Canstar has just released our latest research about products on offer in the Junior and Youth Banking space in Australia, helping young Australians find outstanding value financial products and services that encourage financial literacy.
The culmination of this research is four Canstar awards:
- Bank of the Year – Junior Banking: Commonwealth Bank
- Bank of the Year – Youth Banking: Commonwealth Bank
- Customer-Owned Bank of the Year – Junior Banking: Hume Bank
- Customer-Owned Bank of the Year – Youth Banking: Hume Bank
These four awards aim to give recognition to providers that offer outstanding value products and services for children and students in Australia. After careful analysis of the market, Canstar is pleased to announce that both Commonwealth Bank and Hume Bank have retained their positions from last year at the top of the pile for Junior and Youth Banking and Customer-Owned Junior and Youth Banking, respectively.
Congratulations, Commonwealth Bank and Hume Bank!
To learn more about how and why these brands won this year, read on.
What are the Junior and Youth Banking Awards?
The Junior Banking Award is an award given to the financial institution that offers the strongest combination of products and services for Aussie kids aged under 12 years old. This may include children’s bank accounts, a school banking program, and a dedicated children’s banking website or mobile banking app. Children’s bank accounts are designed for kids under 12 years old who need their parent or legal guardian to open the bank account with them and have access to the account to make deposits.
The Youth Banking Award is an award given to the financial institution that offers the strongest combination of products and services to young Australians aged 12 to 17 years old. Once kids reach this age they can usually open their own bank account (with a guarantee of indemnity signed by their parents or guardian), so banks need to have suitable savings accounts and tools to help students learn how to manage their money.
Recognising not everyone wants to bank with a “bank”, Canstar gives an award to both the Bank of the Year and the Customer-Owned Institution of the Year in these categories. For a more detailed explanation about the difference between customer-owned (mutual banks) and regular banks, read our article on the subject here.
In deciding the winner of each award, our award methodology places emphasis on the following factors:
- Products, such as:
- Junior Saver accounts (Junior Banking Award only)
- Youth Transactor accounts
- Regular saver accounts
- Flexible saver accounts
- Educational tools and services, such as:
- Savings calculators and budget calculators
- Educational games
- Community and school workshops
- Junior and youth specific websites
- School banking programs (Junior Banking Award only). (This article will give you an informative look at what school banking is.)
- Distribution, which includes:
- The number of branches and the ease of access to these branches
- The number of ATMs
- Online and mobile banking functionality, easy enough to be used by children under 18 (Youth Banking Award only)
So, how did CommBank and Hume Bank prove themselves worthy of the Junior and Youth Banking Awards in 2017?
Commonwealth Bank: Bank of the Year – Junior and Youth Banking 2017
Who is Commonwealth Bank?
CBA is one of Australia’s leading providers of financial services. CBA offers a wide variety of products including insurance, credit cards, home loans, savings accounts, personal loans, share trading, superannuation and more.
CommBank takes its responsibility to the youth of Australia seriously, and places a great deal of emphasis on corporate and social responsibility.
There are a total of 8 key initiatives that CBA invests in to drive positive change in Australia:
- Teach children the value of money through School Banking and Start Smart Programs
- Invest in education to prepare the workforce of the future
- Develop innovative products and services to support better money management and financial inclusions among all Australians
- Encourage the inclusion and contributions from employees and community members with diverse backgrounds
- Distribute more than $2 million in community grants every year to organisations that invest in young people, dollar-match their Staff Community Fund donations giving, and enable staff volunteer hours
- Build better transparency among stakeholders, including domestic violence initiatives for employees, customers and the community as a whole
- Responsible lending and investing
- A dedication to limiting climate change to 2 degrees, which includes building 100% of all new retail spaces to a 5-Star Green Star rating
What does CommBank offer for children and students?
CommBank, in both the Junior and Youth Banking Awards, ended up considerably in front of the competition. The main reason for this was due to the wealth of resources it offers, providing educational resources and tools, workshops, seminars, and school banking programs.
CBA separates its products into ‘kids’ and ‘teenagers’. Kids get access to a youth saver account with bonus interest rates and $0 monthly account-keeping fees, plus a Smart Access Account with a keycard to withdraw their money from an ATM. CommBank also lets kids manage their money in the CommBank mobile banking app.
Teens banking with CBA, on the other hand, get an everyday Smart Access Account, which has $0 monthly account-keeping fees until 21 years of age and provides access to over 4,000 ATMs.
For both kids and teenagers, CBA provides a tips section on their website, which gives useful advice on topics such as budgeting, saving, finding a first job, and making important purchases.
Where CBA really excels, however, is in its school banking program. CBA’s new look Dollarmites program now offers a CommBank Youth app, an innovative new app that lets kids do the following through their schools:
- Check their Youthsaver account balances
- View their school banking deposits and transaction history
- Set up savings goals and monitor their progress
For an explanation as to how Canstar judges our Junior & Youth Banking Awards, as well as information on the latest trends in junior and youth banking, read the rest of our 2017 Award report.
Other products on offer from Commonwealth Bank
As one of Australia’s biggest financial institutions, there isn’t a lot that Commonwealth Bank doesn’t offer, for kids or adults. Of all the product types available on the market, CBA offers products for adults in the following key categories:
Hume Bank: Customer-Owned Bank of the Year – Junior and Youth Banking 2017
Who is Hume Bank?
Hume Bank is a customer-owned bank that has been operating in Australia for more than 60 years, when it started out as the Hume Co-operative Building & Investment Society. It officially became Hume Bank in 2014 after seeking approval from its customers and the governing body APRA, and it now has 19 physical branches, 47 ATMs, and almost 60,000 customers.
Hume Bank has a strong history of success in banking, winning various Canstar awards over the years. These awards include Outstanding Value for Low Fee Credit Cards, Outstanding Value Personal Loans, and Outstanding Value Home Loans in 2016.
Hume Bank is also active in supporting the wider community and the youth of Australia, with over 200 community groups and charities sponsored through its Community Cash Rewards Program. Hume Bank primarily sponsors charities that are committed to the local region, and prefers those that are consistent with their values and goals and support environmentally friendly practices. Hume also offers cash rewards of up to $350 to community groups and clubs whenever a member is referred to Hume Bank services.
Source: Hume Bank
What Does Hume Bank offer to Junior and Youth Bankers?
Hume Bank finished comfortably ahead of its competitors this year for both the Junior and Youth Banking Awards. This was predominantly due to the accessibility of its educational resources, seminars, and workshops, and the availability of educational tools, such as youth savings calculators and specific websites for both juniors and youth.
One interesting initiative Hume Bank has taken is the Junior Saver Club, a competition that provides children the resources, tools, and incentive to develop skills in saving and budgeting. Kids can collect a Junior Savers Club activity book from any Hume branch and deposit $1 or more each week to earn prizes.
Hume Bank also has the Clancy Koala Account, a savings account designed for younger children aged 11 and under. With help from Clancy Koala, kids can earn bonus interest if they deposit $10 a month or more, getting them into a good saving habit early. This account is also exempt from fees, and allows parents to keep an eye on their kid’s bank account.
Another great initiative Hume Bank undertakes is financial literacy for schools through a school banking program. Hume Bank presents seminars to children aged from prep to secondary school on a range of topics, which increase in difficulty relative to the child’s age, and all of which are free of charge for schools and their students.
For an explanation as to how Canstar judges our awards, as well as information on the latest trends in youth banking, read the rest of our 2017 Junior & Youth Banking Award report.
Other products on offer from Hume Bank
As we mentioned before, Hume Bank has a history of providing strong products in a variety of categories for both kids and adults, and has won other Canstar awards over the last several years. Key products of Hume Bank’s that Canstar researches and rates include the following:
Canstar also researches and rates more than 40 other providers in the field of Junior and Youth Banking. If you’re looking to compare account options for your kids or you simply want to learn more about Junior and Youth Banking, visit our website: