Nordea has become the first bank in the Nordic region to appoint a Private economist solely responsible for supporting young people in understanding personal finances. Emma Persson, based in Stockholm, takes the role after working closely on Nordea's successful financial education programme.
Understanding money when you can’t touch and feel it
”We want to open up the discussion about the importance of taking responsibility for your own finances with young people and their parents. This is especially important in these times, when we are living on the borderline of cash and electronic money. Our challenge is to support young people in understanding the value of money when they can’t touch and feel it, like we did when we were young. How to teach the value of money when it doesn't 'exist' and is often just a click away?"
According to a survey of parents conducted by Nordea, half of the parents who give pocket money regularly, give it in cash. "Even though this is perfectly understandable, parents should maybe consider getting their kids a bank card. They will be exposed to electronic money anyway at a very early age – why not teach them to handle it already at home?" Emma proposes.
Money usually ends – how to handle it
"In the survey we also learned that parents often give their children pocket money without them having to earn it. When they grow up, they will need to work hard to earn money, and it would be highly beneficial if children would be taught this already at home.
"They also need to understand that even though money is available widely and usually just a click away, there usually is an end to it and one needs to learn how to manage that without getting into debt. Young people often shop on the internet, and also tend to get themselves into debt, we know that a fifth of all the loans that go to Kronofogden (Swedish Enforcement Authority), are for people under 25".
In addition to focusing on young people, Emma will also be working on initiatives to help encourage women to utilise the information they have to make investment decisions.
"Young women usually are more careful at taking risks and are reluctant to invest in the stock market. However, I would say young women have more knowledge about certain industries because of their habits. They spend money on clothes from certain companies and have extensive knowledge about specific industries, why not use that knowledge to consider investing in it? I wish I can get them to think about that and be more brave – and improve their own financial well-being at the same time."
About Nordea's community involvement programme
Nordea’s community involvement programmes focus mainly on financial education and entrepreneurship, which is where our employees can apply their time and skills to make the most difference. By choosing to focus on topics where our employees are well equipped to contribute their skills and expertise, we can make a real difference. In 2014, our network of banking advisors in Sweden visited approximately 300 schools and reached 17,000 students. We visit classes with students aged 13-18, and hold hands-on classes in personal finances.
We want to help all young people on the programmes to earn and save, be productive members of society and build a successful life for themselves. Employees benefit hugely from the experience too. They return to work with greater motivation as well as enhanced communications skills, all of which improves how they engage with and relate to our customers.
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