Financial Inclusion for Children and Youth SurveyPublished on:
Country-level Regulatory and Policy overview
Child & Youth Finance International
1. Does your country have a specific policy or law regulating the access to financial products for children and youth?
No.There is no specific policy or law, as pursuant to the provisions of Article 389 of the Civil Code the father is responsible for the assets, profits and managements of any assets or income of his underage children, that is those under 18 years of age.
2. What are the general age restrictions for opening a saving account?
You must be of legal age. That is 18 years. However, it is a common practice for parents to open accounts on their children´s behalf (but they are free to manage the funds unless they set forth restrictions preventing them to so).
3. What is the minimum age to open and operate a savings account?
18 years old.
4. Are there any special conditions pursuant to which these age restrictions are not applied? (e.g. in Ethiopia a 14-year-old youngster with a formal job and the consensus of the parents, can subscribe a waiver and be legally recognized as an adult in opening a bank account.)
Emancipation formally declared by a court of law. That is that a court acknowledges that the minor is no longer financially supported by his/her parents.
5. Are parents or guardians involved in the opening and management of the account of the child?
Yes. They are responsible for both until the child reaches legal age.
6. Do financial institutions have to fulfill any specific legal requirement for addressing children with financial products? (i.e. product marketing, compliance et cetera)
The prior authorization of the Superintendency of Banks is required prior to the launching of any campaign or product. In some cases, products may be targeted at young adults and children as they refer to the advantages of savings or of having a credit card (which will be backed by the parents).
7. Do children have to fulfill any specific requirement for being eligible to subscribe to financial products? (i.e. specific compliance procedures, KYC, financial literacy minimum requirements et cetera)
Assuming the parent authorized the opening of an account or the issuance of a credit card in favor of a minor, signatures will be registered and included as part of the parents’ credit record. The parent will have to acknowledge in writing his/her authorization for the opening of the account, issuance of a credit card or any other product in the form of a contract. Please note that as these policies are private, they may vary depending on the institution.
8. Which organization(s) is/are responsible of regulation and supervision in the field of the access to financial products for youth?
9. Does your country have a specific policy or law regulating the protection of children’s rights for issues related to access to financial services, products or other finance related issues?
No, because of the provisions of the Civil Code previously mentioned. However, recently the subject of starting financial education at an early age and thus granting youth access to financial products (without the need of having their parents act as intermediaries) have surface. The discussion has gained more momentum in light of the US and UK approach to early financial education..
10. Does your country have a national strategy for financial education with a specific focus on children?
No. However, as mentioned under 4, early financial education the subject of frequent discussion in academic and professional circles and considering international trends as well as the current crisis facing the country it is becoming increasingly obvious that it is a necessary tool to make efficient decisions about money.
11. Does your national law require financial institutions to invest part of their revenue in financial educational programs and/or initiatives?
12. Do savings accounts for children (or other financial products) have to be formally linked with a financial educational program or do they have to have an educational component?
13. Which organization(s) is/are leading the development of the financial education strategy on national level and which are the other (regional) organizations or actors involved in its design and implementation?
Although there are several institutions advocating for a national financial education strategy, none has taken a leading role so far..
About The Child and Youth Finance Movement
The Child and Youth Finance Movement is a global stakeholder network dedicated to transforming young people across the world into empowered economic citizens. It works to ensure that every child in the world has a savings account and has the financial knowledge and skills to make the choices that will better lives and communities. In a little over a year, the Movement has reached over 18 million children and youth.
The Child and Youth Finance Movement is unique because it brings together organizations and individuals from multiple sectors and countries. This includes governments, financial institutions, NGOs and children’s rights advocates, academics and many more. All are united in the goals of the Child and Youth Finance Movement.
At the first Annual CYFI Summit in 2012, the network committed to reach 100 million children and youth in 100 countries by 2015 as a first step for the Movement.