Piggy bank scheme aims to familiarize children with banking transactions and urges children to take up saving habits from an early stage
There has been a rapid increase in the number of customers for piggy bank scheme since its inception by the Bhutan National Bank Limited (BNBL) on November 10, 2012.
Today, the BNBL has close to about 15,000 accounts and Nu 300mn in deposits.
The Operation Officer of BNBL, Hem Kumar Acharya said, “The piggy bank accounts are quite popular out here. Getting a piggy bank for your child is a great way to teach them about money and the importance of saving.”
Hem Kumar Acharya said that the scheme has been highly successful with a good number of people opening accounts for their children.
Meanwhile, the piggy bank scheme is designed for children between the ages of four to 15 with the consent of the parents. It was initiated with the main motive to encourage children to build savings habits and widen their financial knowledge.
A child can open a bank account by filling out a form, and once they have a savings account, they can open a recurring account by filling out another form. Users can deposit a minimum of Nu 100 per month or at least a year with 5% interest per annum.
Since this scheme is meant as a savings account, it doesn’t permit an individual to withdraw any amount of the money as per his/her wish. Withdrawal, however, is permitted only under special circumstances.
BNBL’s Operation Officer said that the scheme is designed for children to understand the habit of saving.
“In the near future, whatever random expenses they might be having will be met through their savings instead of continuously depending on their parents,” he said.
BNBL has three types of piggy bank accounts – regular account, recurring account, and fixed deposit, whose interest is slightly higher than other regular accounts.
BNBL is the only financial institute that offers this scheme as of now.
Meanwhile, the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) has also initiated a scheme called ‘Youth Ethics’ in 2018.
Unlike the piggy bank, YE- banking is initiated in schools. Every time a child participates in a school event, they earn a point called banking points, which is then transformed into money that is accessible by class teachers.
The money is funded by the RMA in collaboration with other financial institutes in the country.
The YE-banking was started mainly to promote financial literacy by encouraging ethical activities in schools.
Tshering Pelden from Thimphu