Tagged 'saving'

Banco Caja Social aims to empower young Colombians to reach their dreams

In Colombia, the unemployment rate among young people hovers around 47 percent. For this cohort, the idea of a better future is a difficult dream to hold on to. There’s little hope of saving enough money for a home or going to college. Plus, Colombians tend to presume that opening a savings account will require a significant amount of money and come with too many terms and conditions. Many simply keep cash under their mattress or opt for other informal savings schemes.

Against this background, local banking institution Banco Caja Social is working to address the structural causes of poverty by trying to develop a culture that believes in the benefits of saving via a bank account. The bank helps by offering flexible terms and conditions that cater to each person’s needs. In a recent campaign, a TV commercial showcases a young man in a hard hat who’s seeking to “go further” in life by advancing in his education. “I have to save to accomplish my goals,” he says. “That’s why I opened my ‘Friend Account,’ to save. And I really save without being charged.”

For young people, the idea of having a bank on their side, helping them move ahead, may help motivate them to start banking and to do so with Caja Social.

Feed or starve the pig?

Recently, a story on NPR highlighted two dueling ad campaigns: a pro-spending campaign out of Finland that includes an ad featuring an evil-looking piggybank and reads, “Don’t feed the recession.” Meanwhile, a pro-saving effort from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants advises Americans to “Feed the pig,” telling us how much we could save over 10 years by brown-bagging or drinking tap rather than bottled water. Sure, you would expect this from someone in advertising, but I’m for the Finnish campaign: It’s a nod to the paradox of thrift—nations of people who stop spending can wreak further havoc on the economy and, in turn, their own lives.