In an unprecedented initiative at national level, the Portuguese Banking Association (APB) and the main banks operating in Portugal will be travelling to schools from the north to the south of the country to promote financial literacy.

Throughout the school year, more than 50 employees from the APB member banks will exchange their office desks for classroom benches, to teach financial literacy to 3,800 3rd cycle and secondary school students. The aim is to empower these students with capabilities for financial planning and management in their everyday lives.

Starting in October and running until June, we'll be bringing students and teachers together at “No Banco da Minha Escola[i] and helping them to learn and understand topics such as budget planning and management, the existing banking products and services or how to act to safeguard against online fraud.

For Vítor Bento, Chairman of the APB, "Saber de Contas” (knowing how to keep accounts), or in other words, possessing the practical know-how to deal with money on a daily basis - is now a basic skill as important to social life as reading, writing and basic arithmetic. And like these, the ability to manage accounts must start early in school and be ingrained in the education system. This is what prompted the APB to promote this initiative among schools and their students."

This first edition of "No Banco da Minha Escola" will cover three themes:

1st Term - Planning and Managing the Family Budget: grasping the concepts of income and expenditure and learning how to make a budget and manage a budgetary balance.

2nd Term - Financial System - Banking Products and Services: gaining a deeper understanding of the workings of the financial system and learning about some essential banking products, such as loans, deposits, means of payment and insurance.

3rd Term - Online Safety: learning how to identify the different types of online fraud and adopting the most appropriate and secure behaviours to prevent them.

"The implementation of this project could only be achieved through the support of banks within the APB's Financial Education Working Group and their volunteering employees, who will conduct around 200 financial literacy sessions across more than 50 schools nationwide. The commitment and eagerness of schools and teachers already engaged with the APB on these initiatives, has also been fundamental," says Rita Machado, head of the APB's Financial Education Project.

This initiative follows the programmatic guidelines of the Financial Education Framework, promoted by the National Plan for Financial Education (“PNFF”), of which the APB is a member. It was launched precisely on the 30th of October, the day that marks the start of the Financial Literacy Week.

Throughout its existence, the APB's Financial Education project has consistently strived to enhance the financial literacy levels of the broader population, with a particular focus on segments deemed more vulnerable, such as young people and seniors. Now, we're challenging students and teachers to sit down at "My School Bench" and learn more about the financial system from those who work in it.

For more information, visit the APB website or follow us on social media (Facebook and Instagram).

Check here the list of participating schools.

[i]No Banco da Minha Escola”, literally “at my school bench, or bank”, makes a pun with the work “banco”, which in Portuguese means both ‘bench’ and ‘bank’.