NatWest has announced today a major new partnership intended to further its efforts to help young people to thrive and reach their goals sooner. NatWest and Marcus Rashford MBE are working together to co-create a programme designed to support young people in communities across the UK to learn about and develop a positive relationship with money. The programme will connect them with role-models with shared lived experiences that can mentor and inspire success and help them achieve their goals.
Now more than ever, money is a worry for a lot of young people and families. Families from disadvantaged communities are often already smart with money – they have to be. They go to multiple supermarkets to get the best deals or layer up at night-time to save on energy bills. Yet, 80% of young people believe they will never be financially secure. If we are to understand the needs of these future customers and help them grow their money confidence, then we need to listen and learn from these communities and remove the barriers they’re facing.
Research from London Institute of Banking & Finance shows that teaching children about money in schools is not enough to make a difference; only 8% of young people cite school as their main source of financial education, and three quarters of children learn about money at home and from peers.
After three months of speaking and listening to community and youth leaders, and consulting with Marcus, together, NatWest and Marcus will seek to reach young people where they are and pilot the programme in select youth clubs in Manchester and London this Easter, to inform a national roll-out.
Marcus Rashford, MBE, said: “When I approached NatWest with the idea of collaboration, I was assured very quickly that I would always have a voice at the table. It wasn’t enough for me to simply put my name and face to an existing programme, we needed to get out into underserved communities and understand if the programme was really being delivered as effectively as it could be.
“My mum was one of the best people I had ever seen managing money, because she had to be, but the word ‘money’ was always met with stress and anxiety in the household. I wasn’t comfortable discussing it in any environment, especially not at school, and we had to travel out of our community to find a nearest bank branch. Most of us dealt in cash. Having carried out insight sessions across the UK in the last couple of months it become obvious that my experience was not a rarity. Children are fearful of talking about money.
“We’ve put a strong focus on listening, educating ourselves, and better understanding sensitivity with delivery so that every child can thrive and get excited about their futures, regardless of where they are growing up. We need to break down boundaries, particularly where it relates to the perception of a bank and who they are catering for and engage these children through creative programming that they can relate to. The pilot roll-out will be another opportunity to gather insight so that we are confident the programme is being delivered with the maximum results. And just to be clear, this is not about educating communities how to manage their money, this is about engaging children to get excited about planning for their futures.”
Alison Rose, CEO, NatWest Group, said: “I’m very proud to announce we are partnering and co-creating with Marcus Rashford to seek to address the needs of children and families, and help ensure all children can thrive, regardless of their background. Listening to community and youth workers, we know many young people and their families see money as something to worry about, instead of as a positive tool for them to thrive – that’s something we must seek to change.
“We want children to build and get excited about their futures and we want to break down barriers, particularly where it relates to their perceptions of a bank and who we cater for. We’re privileged to have Marcus share his passion and purpose with us to create real long-term impact”.
NatWest has outlined a strategic focus on reaching and engaging young people in respect of the life events and issues that they encounter and care most about, with an aim to help them to reach their goals sooner. NatWest has a long history in financial education through its MoneySense programme which has been running since 1994, initially delivered in schools, but recently revamped to go digital. Over 10 million young people have been reached through MoneySense to date.