Banks Investing in Your Children's Patronage

Physician's Money Digest, January 2007, Volume 14, Issue 1

Wall Street Journal

If you're a physician who's desperatelytrying to counsel your children on thevalue of money, banks would be more thanhappy to help you out. According to the, many banks are strivingto attract the business of teens andpreteens by offering childlike perks foropening savings accounts. For example, atSt. Louis-based US Bancorp kids areawarded prizes such as stick-on tattooswhen they make a deposit, and when theyhit the $100 mark they receive free musicdownloads. KeyBank offers its very youngcustomers dinosaur toys for their Dino-Saver account, and teens can receive aniPod Shuffle for opening a student checkingaccount. Financial institutions are tryingto reel in kids with more than just bankaccounts. USAA offers a mutual fund forchildren called the First Start Growth fundthat children can invest in for as little as$20 and includes such youth-popularstocks as Pepsi and Google. While the kidsget a good money education from theirbank accounts by receiving bank statementsin their own name, being able tocheck their balance online, or even havingtheir own debit or ATM card, parents stillserve as cosigners of the accounts and areable to monitor spending and transactions.