Inside Marketing: Famous bears promote financial literacy

Brother and Sister teach young members to save.

Popular storybook siblings have become ambassadors to encourage children to learn and practice key money management concepts—save, share, spend, earn—through the Berenstain Bears Financial Literacy Program offered exclusively to credit unions by the Credit Union Network for Financial Literacy.

Two picture books from the Credit Union Financial Literacy Series featuring the Berenstain Bear characters accompany elementary-level lesson plans and other educational and marketing materials, including the framework for a children’s savings account that has helped Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, which owns the CUNFL credit union service organization, and other participating credit unions enroll entire families as members, says CUES member Drew Stanley, SVP/chief strategy officer for the $1 billion Broomall, Penn., credit union serving 84,000 members.

Since Franklin Mint FCU doubled the rate last summer on its Berenstain Bears Cub Account, a savings program available for children up to age 10, to 4 percent on the first $500, the average number of accounts opened monthly has increased from 60 to 100, and account balances average around $1,000, Stanley says. In almost 50 percent of the households where one or more children have a Cub Account, their parents have a checking account with the credit union, and 60 percent of those households have a loan. This program has helped keep the credit union’s average member age at 41 for more than five consecutive years, well below the national average.

 

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