Survey Finds "Overprotective" Hong Kong Parents Missing an Opportunity to Teach Their Children Well-rounded Money Management Skills


Prudential's financial literacy programme "Cha-Ching" launches "Season Two" with three new episodes on Budgeting, Credit and Investing

Prudential Corporation Asia today unveiled results from its new survey, Financial Literacy in Children, in August 2012 by research specialists Cimigo among Hong Kong children* aged seven to 12 to assess their understanding and habits when it comes to using and managing money. The results showed there is a need for more education to build responsible money management skills in Hong Kong children.

Children Have Regular Access to Cash 
Pocket money is often making its way into children's wallets, and most children said they receive regular pocket money - an average of HK$75 a week. Overall, almost all children (92%) said they are happy with the amount of pocket money they are getting.

Hong Kong Parents are Pretty Easy on Children When it Comes to Money
When it comes to purchasing items of their desire, the survey showed that children know their parents will oblige to their wishes. A majority (87%) said their parents are likely to buy things for them if they want it. And close to half (46%) desire bigger items such as computer-related products (12%), mobile phones (10%) and shoes/clothes/bags (10%). Of these children, almost one third said they would simply ask their parents to buy it for them.

"We reckon that Hong Kong children have developed a good habit of saving and spending from their pocket money, but the survey indicates that they lack the opportunity to learn and practice the important money concepts of 'earning' and 'budgeting', as they rely heavily on parents to meet their money needs. We live in an increasingly sophisticated financial environment and therefore it is critical that our next generation acquires well-rounded financial skills and practical experience from an early age. The survey also indicated that almost all (91%) children would like to improve their financial skills," said Florence Lo, Senior Director of Brand & Communications at Prudential Hong Kong.

Children Have Trouble Understanding Cashless Transactions and Investments
One of the key learnings from the recent economic crisis was that people need to have a strong understanding of credit and investments. Children today do not see the use of cash, due to the proliferation of credit and debit cards. 

On these concepts, the survey revealed a gap in children's understanding:

  • On Octopus Cards, a large majority (66%) did not track the spending or balance on their cards
  • Almost all (92%) have their parents reload their Octopus Cards for them
  • A majority (78%) were not sure whether they need to deposit money to a credit card before using it
  • Almost half (47%) of children said they do not know what happens after a credit card transaction has been made
  • A large majority (74%) of children have not considered how to earn extra money from their savings
  • Almost half of children said they think Mark 6 (46%) and horse betting (37%) are forms of investment

Dr. Timothy Leung, registered psychologist specialising in child development and Founding Member of the Association of Psychological and Educational Counsellors of Asia, who attended the press conference said: "Parents in Hong Kong tend to be overprotective of their children. Too much leniency in handing out pocket money or meeting their purchasing desires could be a missed opportunity to teach children sound money management skills, and to practice 'delayed gratification'. Parents need to balance their need to indulge their children with teaching them lifelong money skills that will be important for their future."

Financial Education for Children - Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids 
Continuing Prudential's commitment to financial literacy in Asia, Prudential launched an innovative financial education programme for children, Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids, in September 2011 that is broadcast on TV and supported by an interactive website and digital applications. Starting today, Prudential will begin adding three new episodes to this award-winning programme, aiming to build children's understanding of the concepts of budgeting, credit and investing.

Sean Rach, Regional Director of Brand & Corporate Affairs, Prudential Corporation Asia, said: "We are delighted to see the positive response to Cha-Ching from educators and parents across Asia, giving them a unique tool to address an unmet financial education need. To date, this programme has helped thousands of children and parents discuss and learn about the fundamental money concepts, and we are committed to continuing our efforts in enhancing financial literacy in Asia."

Cha-Ching is currently aired in seven Asian countries on Cartoon Network, the number one children's channel in Asia. As a corporate social responsibility initiative, Cha-Ching sought to engage with children aged seven to 12 using a unique musical edutainment approach. In Season One launched in 2011, the series of 10 three-minute "music videos" with sing-a-long subtitles taught children about four key money management concepts - Earn, Save, Spend and Donate - through a band of six characters, each with a relatable personality and a different approach to money.

In Season Two of Cha-Ching, the first of the three new episodes on budgeting, "Back to the Budget" will begin airing on 30th October. The second episode teaching children how credit cards work will air in December 2012. The last episode introducing the key principles of investing will premiere in January 2013. Children's questions answered in the new episodes include:

  • How can I plan so I do not spend more money than I have?
  • How does a credit card work? Is it free money?
  • What is another way to save? How does investing work?

A new online game, Cha-Ching Saver World Tour, was also launched in October 2012, enabling children to learn through play.

For more information, please visit: 

*Face-to-face interviews with 206 children that were conducted at extracurricular classes

Special note to the editor:

Prudential plc (­英國保誠集團), was established in the United Kingdom in 1848 and is headquartered in London. With its affiliated companies in the UK, the US and Asia, it constitutes one of the world's leading financial services groups.

Prudential plc is not affiliated or related in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc. (保德信金融集團), a company whose principal place of business is in the United States.

You and your reporters are cordially reminded to clearly differentiate between the two companies in your news reporting.

Florence Lo, Sean Rach and Dr. Tim Leung are joined by Cha-Ching characters Prudence and Zul

Sean Rach - Regional Director, Brand and Corporate Affairs, Prudential Corporations Asia

Florence Lo - Senior Director, Brand and Communications, Prudential Hong Kong

Dr. Tim Leung - Registered Psychologist

For enquiries, please contact:

Kawina Yip

Corporate Communications & Corporate Social Responsbility

Prudential Hong Kong Limited

+852 2977 8174

+852 2977 4111

Kate Siu

Corporate Communications & Corporate Social Responsbility

Prudential Hong Kong Limited

+852 2977 8462

+852 2977 1209