Financial Education.

Financial Education.

A primary focus of Citi's corporate citizenship activities in Singapore is financial education. At Citi, we believe we have a responsibility towards helping people understand how to manage their financial resources as a natural extension of the work we do as a global financial institution.

In particular, we believe that creating financial awareness among the young and equipping them with money management skills will put them in good stead to control their financial future in later years. It is for this reason that within Citi Asia Pacific, Citi Singapore was the first financial institution to introduce financial education to young people in Singapore in 2002.

Over the last nine years, Citi Singapore has committed more than S$8.7 million to its comprehensive financial education programmes to further the cause of creating a more financially literate society. Our range of initiatives reaches out to all segments of Singaporeans including students, youths, teachers, mature women and the general public. Our financial education initiatives reach out to students from primary, secondary and tertiary students through a series of programmes.

By promoting financial literacy, we aim to help raise the quality of life for individuals, families and the communities. Through these programmes, more than 350,000 students from over 80% of schools in Singapore have benefited.

Financial Education Initiatives for Primary School Students

This innovative financial education enrichment programme for 10 - 12 year old students aims to teach them about the basics of money and promote financial literacy. This initiative is in line with the Ministry of Education's objectives of promoting financial education.

Through colourful and exciting comic books and an interactive drama series, this programme features the adventures of Agent Penny and her sidekick, Will Power as they battle against poor money management and motivate young readers to spend and save wisely. Developed by Citibank and the Learning Society, this programme was piloted in Singapore in February 2004 and has since been implemented in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, the United States and Spain.

The core elements of the programme consist of:

  • Comic books - featuring different storylines and financial concepts, covering topics including good credit management, the importance of budgeting, having a savings plan to ensure financial security, types of products and services offered by banks and concepts of revenue/cost and profit/loss. There are three comic books in the series.
  • Dramas skits at school assemblies
  • Professional development programme for teachers that include online resource materials and one-day training workshops
  • Interactive websites with online games and quizzes
  • Classroom learning kits for the children.

To date, the programme has reached out to more than 150,000 schoolchildren in 169 schools.

The expanded series of MoneyWise programme was launched in April 2011 by Citi and South East Community Development Council (SE CDC) to benefit low-income youth and families. In 2011, we benefited 520 low income families and reached out to over 5,600 youths to further the cause of creating a more financially literate society.

One of the new initiatives under the partnership is the Citi-SECDC MoneyWise Matched Savings Programme that reached out to over 200 students who are receiving assistance from the Ministry of Education Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) or the School Advisory Committee (SAC). The programme seeks to achieve the twin objectives of financial education and asset building with the long term goal of enhancing the financial capability of these low-income students.

The students, aged between 9 to 11 years old, were encouraged to save between $1 and $10 each month and at the end of the programme, their savings will be matched 1:1. The students had also attended financial literacy camps during their school holidays in June. Throughout the programme, they were mentored by 30 Citi staff. The mentors encouraged them on their savings journey as they discuss the learning points of the Agent Penny comic book series during their monthly group mentoring sessions.

This matched savings programme is part of the Citi-SE CDC MoneyWise series of programmes which include the following:

  • MoneyWise Budgeting Workshop
  • MoneyWise Youth Programme
  • MoneyWise Healthy Cooking Programme
  • MoneyWise Tobacco Awareness Programme

Financial Education Initiatives for Tertiary Students

Citibank/Business Times Young Investors Forum is a weekly one-page editorial in The Business Times started in 2004 that aims to encourage young adults to pursue financial and business knowledge. 1,000 copies of the newspaper are specially distributed to all universities and polytechnics in Singapore as part of its average daily circulation of 37,500 copies. In addition to the editorial page, we also organise financial education seminars and activities jointly with
The Business Times.

The Citi FX Challenge was Citi's first foreign exchange trading competition organised specially for tertiary students. Students from the universities or polytechnics formed teams of two to participate in this challenge. In 2011, 600 participants (300 teams) went through intensive, simulated FX trading games on Citi's proprietary FX trading platform on the event day. The team that "made" the most money took home exciting prizes including an internship offer with Citi Singapore.

Jointly launched by Citi and Singapore Management University in April 2012, the Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Programme for Young Adults is Singapore's first structured financial literacy programme for young adults. Through lectures, workshops and course curriculum, it will equip young adults with essential personal finance knowledge and skills to give them a firm foundation in managing their money and a financial head-start early in their working lives. It targets to reach out to 1,300 young adults in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme.

Financial Education Initiatives for Adults

The Citi-NIE Financial Literacy Hub for Teachers was launched in October 2007 in partnership with National Institute of Education (NIE). The aim of the programme is to equip teachers with the necessary tools to impart financial literacy skills to their students. With greater awareness and understanding, teachers were encouraged to incorporate money management skills into their curriculum. The Hub has trained over 3000 teachers who in turn reached out to an estimate of 250,000 students over 288 schools to date.

In April 2008, the Citi-Tsao Foundation Financial Education Programme for Mature Women was launched. The programme is the first of its kind to be launched in Southeast Asia and is a joint initiative between Citi and TSAO Foundation targeting women (aged 40 - 59) from a low-income bracket whose family income ranges from $1,500 to $3,500 monthly. The programme consists of a specially-tailored curriculum covering five modules in 20 weekly sessions of three hours each. Through these sessions, participants are taught about savings and planning for the long term, budgeting and investing.

This curriculum is being rolled out from 2008 to 2012 through a series of workshops held with local community organizations and is also being supported through the formation of network and support groups for participants. With the aim of reaching 6000 women by 2012, more than 5420 women have benefited from the programme to date. The programme is available in English, Chinese and Malay learning groups.

On 10th March 2012, Dr Amy Khor, Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Mayor, South West District, announced the official collaboration of People's Association Women's Integration Network with Citi and Tsao Foundation to offer the programme at all 104 Women Executive Councils and every community centre in Singapore within 2 to 3 years.

This exciting partnership will enable PA WIN to organize its own pool of trainers who will drive the programme's outreach to more women in their respective constituencies and community centres. By increasing the choices of venues, language medium as well as class timings, the programme will be more accessible to benefit more mature women in our community.

The Use Credit Wisely campaign is the first comprehensive programme on good credit management initiated by a financial institution to reach out to Singaporeans. The programme seeks to educate and equip Singaporeans with tools on how to manage the use of credit appropriately. It will be conducted through several platforms including an interactive website, books published in English and Chinese, and a series of talks on credit and debt management, for which Citibank has exclusively partnered Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS).

Managing Your Wealth is a six-part investor education series on personal finance. The handy guides aim to equip the public with the necessary financial know-how for every stage of their lives and address a broad range of financial concerns ranging from everyday issues such as budgeting and management of credit to longer term needs such as investing for the future, retirement planning and legacy transfer.

Managing Your Wealth comes in six volumes:

  • Taking Charge of Your Money: Starting on the path to financial freedom
  • Investing for Better Returns: Understanding the basics to growing your money
  • Making the Most of Credit: When to use credit and how to manage it
  • Breezing Through Your Middle Years: Smart moves for the sandwich generation
  • Securing Your Future: Working towards a comfortable retirement
  • Determining Your Legacy: Ensuring that your will is done