Standard Bank unveils landmark product


. . . Hippo Account to instil a culture of saving and financial discipline in children

Ntsebeng Motsoeli

STANDARD Lesotho Bank yesterday launched a landmark savings account specially designed for children between the ages of three and 16 years.

The Hippo Account is an innovative product designed to encourage investment and financial literacy among children, according to Standard Lesotho Bank Head of Personal Banking, Yande Sikazwe-Mothae.
“It is an exciting day for us. This product is intended to instill a culture of saving in our children. It is a new product in the market. We are showing again that we are leaders in the banking sector,” Ms Sikazwe-Mothae said at yesterday’s launching ceremony held in Maseru.

The institution’s Head of Personal and Business Banking, Mike Edgcumbe, said the account was a starting point for teaching children how to manage their finances.
“People do not know how to save. This is an opportunity to inculcate the importance of saving and managing one’s finances,” Mr Edgcumbe said.
The Hippo Account is a long-term investment product which offers competitive interest rates. The minimum investment period is 12 months.

“A compulsory monthly stop-order is required to fund the account with a minimum deposit of M50, which ensures that customers save regularly for their children over a pre-selected period of time. As a way of making it easier for children to save on this account, the bank will not charge any management fees and will offer interest that is calculated on a daily basis and capitalised monthly into the account,” said a press release from the bank.

The account , the statement added, comes with a Maestro card to afford the children an opportunity to learn how saving and transacting works in real life so that they appreciate financial literacy at a tender age. The new Hippo Account will allow unlimited deposits, inter-account transfers from the parent’s account to their children’s accounts as well as withdrawals either in-branch or at ATMs.

“We hope this real banking product for the children will afford them a real opportunity for lifelong learning that will instill a culture of saving and prudent financial management. We hope it will benefit the young generation to grow into financially educated and responsible citizens for Lesotho in the future,” said Mpho Vumbukani, the Standard Lesotho Bank Chief Executive Officer.

Meanwhile, the launch of the Hippo Account comes at a time government, through the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) and other United Nations agencies, is busy with plans to develop the National Financial Education Implementation Plan.

The plan seeks to put in place, financial education measures and programmes to enhance financial knowledge among Basotho.
“We are extremely proud that with the Hippo Account, we have taken responsibility to assist government in this noble initiative,” Mr Vumbukani said.

The first 4 000 children to open Hippo Accounts will be provided with Hippo Money Banks. There will also be a top-up of M1 000 on investment for a winning client every month till the end of September and a special Hippo Party for winning children, to be determined through a draw, and their 10 friends.

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