Mortgage brokers weigh in on financial literacy programme

by Ksenia Stepanova04 Dec 2018

Australian company Astute Ability Finance Group has been seeking input from New Zealand’s financial services industry, and is looking to roll out a financial literacy initiative to teach young people about business skills and money management.

The School Entrepreneurs Program has been developed Astute Ability founder and principle broker Mhairi MacLeod and the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), and offers school students courses on improving their financial skills and starting up a business.

MacLeod visited Auckland to speak to Squirrel chief executive John Bolton and Financial Advice New Zealand CEO Katrina Shanks about the programme, and she is also looking to launch a digital platform that allows brokers to document the hours and dollars that they’ve given back to the community.

“It was great to showcase the program to John and Katrina and they are enthusiastic about getting on board this initiative and introducing it in their schools,” MacLeod said.

“The School Entrepreneurs Program has received fantastic support from brokers and it enables them to give something back to the community and impart their financial skills and knowledge onto young people. It would be wonderful to launch the School Entrepreneurs Program in New Zealand and the MFAA is keen for this to happen. The initial support from Financial Advice New Zealand has been very exciting.”

The initiative works by allowing brokers to partner with schools and deliver six to ten week courses, delivering one hour of tutoring each week. The digital platform would be able to measure their time spent on community advancement, and then aggregate it at an industry-wide level.

“We’ve had this digital platform reviewed by a panel of brokers, the MFAA and several key players,” MacLeod told NZ Adviser.

“It’s going to give a truly measurable reporting system at the broker level – the platform will have the logo of each individual broker, their aggregator and their governing body, and their clients will be able to see how many hours they’ve put in, and how much they’re contributing back into charity in dollar terms, and how much community advancement they’ve done.”

“The platform then takes it to the next level, where those aggregators and governing bodies can quantify how many of their member brokers are participating in the scheme. Finally it can be taken to a government level where it can say ‘as an industry, this is how much the financial services sector has given back to society in time, in dollar terms, in community advancement.’

The financial literacy programme has been well received in Australia, and is looking at a potential New Zealand launch sometime next year.

Would your brokerage be willing to participate in a financial literacy scheme? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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