Marcus Rashford: “Children are fearful of talking about money”

Marcus Rashford has teamed up with NatWest Bank to save young people in the UK from a future of money worries by breaking down banking barriers.

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Marcus Rashford is a prominent campaigner in support of underprivileged children in the UK and he’s already been awarded an MBE for his work. Now he’s teamed up with NatWest Bank to train teenagers to manage their money with more confidence. 

[top_pitch]

NatWest and Marcus Rashford on the same side

Since 1994, NatWest has been running a programme called MoneySense. This has helped more than 10 million young people learn about personal finance both in school and online. Therefore, the bank has shown a commitment to education about money.

Approaching NatWest, Rashford asked to collaborate on a new programme that would “get out into underserved communities”.

He said that the subject of money caused stress and anxiety at home when he was growing up. In addition to that, he explained, “We had to travel out of our community to find our nearest bank branch. Most of us dealt in cash. Having carried out insight sessions across the UK in the last couple of months, it became obvious that my experience was not a rarity. Children are fearful of talking about money.”

The new programme will begin with pilot sessions in London and Manchester before a national roll-out. NatWest claims research indicates that teaching about money in schools is insufficient for children from low-income homes. As a result, NatWest and Rashford have designed a framework of support for young people that involves reaching out through mentors. 

Connecting with young people from low-income households

Brought up by his mother Melanie Maynard in a single-parent household, Rashford was very aware of his mother’s financial struggles. She juggled multiple jobs in order to put food on the table. This experience led to Rashford’s successful campaign to provide vouchers for free school meals.

Rashford is considered a great role model for young people who are hoping to achieve their goals. He has shown that this is possible despite a difficult financial start. 

Successfully managing a bank account, applying for a credit card, building up savings and investing are skills that can only be taught in families who have the means to do so. In Rashford’s view, many young people feel that financial services are not for them. He said, “We need to break down boundaries, particularly where it relates to the perception of a bank and who they are catering for.”

[middle_pitch]

Children, money and stress

NatWest’s MoneySense online resources already acknowledge that anxiety about money can stall financial confidence. Most families won’t qualify for Rashford’s help. However, there are also tips and advice on talking to teenagers about money from MoneyHelper.

According to Alison Rose, NatWest Group CEO, “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.’

Financial education

This initiative shows that NatWest is concerned about the financial future of many young people in the UK. Limited access to banking in some areas and communities doesn’t help.

Of course, learning about money should be a lifelong process. Beyond the basics, there’s a lot to take in, such as how to apply for a balance transfer credit card, or set up a share dealing account. 

With cash becoming less accepted and harder to get, perhaps Marcus Rashford is right to encourage banks to make their services genuinely accessible to all families.

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