Teaching the ins and outs of financial management

business August 03, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

4,196 Viewed

Standard Chartered volunteers share know-how with children at 7 schools

Almost 450 employees from Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) recently put their skills to good use by going out into the community to help ensure that Thailand’s next generation does not fall into the painful trap of financial mismanagement.
They choose their holiday date, July 1, to conduct 35 sessions in seven schools in Bangkok, Ang Thong and Saraburi, reaching out to 1,380 students in total in just one day.
Standard Chartered’s staff members were truly able to bring the bank’s ideal to life by devoting the day to helping Thai children gain a better understanding of financial education.
Financial education and inclusion are important issues for Standard Chartered. The bank believes it is important to ensure that people have good financial education, so that they will be able to use financial services actively and responsibly.
Moreover, financial education is a crucial building block of economic citizenship and a means to protect Thais from overextending themselves financially, which in turn will promote stability in the Kingdom’s financial system.
This major exercise was organised by the bank to mark Standard Chartered’s 120th anniversary in Thailand.
Giving back to the community and supporting sustainable economic growth are the cornerstones of the bank’s approach to sustainability. 
The lack of appropriate financial education limits economic opportunities for young people. Without such education, many youths are not prepared to take advantage of financial services that could help them save and plan for the future.
“We are proud to have been in Thailand for 120 years. We have forged long-lasting relationships with the Kingdom, retail clients and businesses large and small, and we will strive to continue contributing to the financial development of Thailand,” said Lyn Kok, president and CEO for Thailand and Greater Mekong, Standard Chartered Bank.
“Sustainability sits at the heart of our business strategy, and it guides everything we do. This can be seen in the way we provide financial services to clients, the way we run our bank and in the way we support the development of the local community. 
“Our volunteering efforts exemplify how we utilise our financial expertise to address a significant local issue and bring our brand promise to life,” she added.
The staff volunteers had to undergo hours of training before becoming qualified to conduct the workshop for children. 
The Standard Chartered curriculum comprises five modules covering a range of subjects, including basic financial terminology, the difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’, expense control and budget management.
Napas Paorohitya, senior executive vice president in charge of the bank’s sustainability programmes, said the success of the workshops was a result of the hard work put in by volunteers to prepare themselves and to adapt the financial education modules to suit Thai needs.
“One of the ways we support our local communities is by volunteering our time and seeking to maximise our impact through skills-based volunteering. It not only gives employees a chance to find out more about social issues facing the community, but also helps to reinforce our commitment to give back to the community where we live and operate,” said Napas.
The parent company, Standard Chartered Bank in the UK, first developed a financial education curriculum that targeted young people, and which could be tailored for use in different countries. 
The employee volunteer-driven programme was piloted in five countries – India, Nigeria, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the UK – engaging with 1,400 young people in total. 
This year, the bank aims to expand the geographic reach of the programme and introduce advanced modules for the 16- to 20-year-old demographic, as well as special modules for small businesses.