FI@School is a novel financial literacy project conceived and implemented by Kerala Gramin Bank, targeted at school children.
Kerala Gramin Bank (KGB) is a public sector bank owned by Government of India, Canara Bank and Government of Kerala. KGB has 602 branches across Kerala, mainly in the rural areas. The bank caters to more than 70 lac customers of the state. It has a business of more than Rs. 27000 Crores, thereby making it the largest Regional Rural Bank (RRB) in the country.
The bank was formed by amalgamating two RRBs of the state – South Malabar Gramin Bank and North Malabar Gramin Bank – in the year 2013. Committed to the society, KGB has executed various projects in the past as well without any profit motive. KGB is the front runner in propagating financial literacy in the state. Its financial literacy initiatives have won may accolades.
This year, we have conceived a novel financial literacy project viz., FI@School. Under the project, each branch of the Bank ties up with at least one school in their precincts. Bank plans to conduct various activities in the school under the title – FI@School.
FI@School is an umbrella programme comprises of various financial literacy and financial inclusion activities such as financial literacy classes, account opening camps, formation of financial literacy clubs, financial literacy related competitions etc. FI@School is one of its kind project by any Bank in the country.
We are associating with an Amsterdam based organization – Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) under the project. NABARD is the organization which is providing financial assistance to the project. We have roped in Mr. Gopinath Muthukad, the ace magician as our brand ambassador for the project.
We launched the project on 23.01.2017 at Assissi Vidyanikethan Public School, Kakkanad, Ernakulam. Mr. E Chandrasekharan, Hon. Minister for Revenue inaugurated the programme in an august gathering attended by more than 1000 children and teachers. We released a financial literacy booklet as well during the event. The booklet was intended to be circulated to the students attending the financial literacy classes.
Around 100 seasoned bankers were hired and were given customized training by a professional agency. Our branches have identified more than 550 schools for the project. Trainers were mapped to the schools identified by branches. The students were given basic financial literacy classes with thrust on basics of savings and budgeting. Financial literacy booklets were distributed to all the students attended the classes.
The classes were began on 31.01.2017 and in a shorter time span, we have covered more than 570 schools and reached out to more than 55000 students, which is indeed a record. FI@School is a kind of pilot project that can be replicated by other banks for a financially literate society.