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To win the fight against fraud and scams, it is vital to educate young people.

Primary school children in Currie, Edinburgh put on their detective hats last week to learn more about fraud and scams thanks to the Royal Bank of Scotland MoneySense programme. Les Matheson, CEO of Personal Banking, tells us why it’s so important to financially educate young people.

I’m really pleased to have spent some time last week helping to deliver one of our MoneySense fraud and scam workshops. At Royal Bank, we know how important it is to teach children to become financially responsible and that’s why we’ve been running our MoneySense programme for almost 25 years. To date, the programme has reached 6.5 million young people. We believe that teaching children about money is one of the most important things you can do to equip them for success in the future, and it’s never too early to start.

This morning, during our MoneySense Fraud Scene Investigators workshop, 20 pupils solved a number of clues to identify different types of fraud, as well as learning how to keep themselves and their families safe. The workshop, developed last year, is specifically designed to educate children and young people on fraud - a growing issue in society. We believe that it is absolutely vital to teach workshops on fraud and scams to help tackle the issue in a practical, proactive, and memorable way. We want to make it easier for children and their families to understand what’s happening today, as well as to develop the skills that enable them to spot scams that might emerge in the future.

Financial Research from the Money Advice Service shows that by the age of seven, children have developed their attitude and values towards money. These attitudes and values are likely to stay with them for life. Only 43% of young people are confident managing their money, 59% of 16-17 year olds can’t read a pay slip and 32% have no experience of putting money into a bank account. With the way in which we manage, talk about, and protect our money constantly changing MoneySense plays a vital role as a companion in young people’s financial education – right through from primary school to high school.

The need for more financial education is clear. More than a third of parents worry about their children asking them a question about money that they themselves can’t answer. The earlier that we can intervene and support teachers and parents to provide up-to-date information to young people, the better.

I’d encourage schools and parents alike to use these free resources in their classrooms, and at home. All materials are available on our website mymoneysense.com

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