More than 300 staff of OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad (OCBC Bank) from thirteen different divisions and branches across the country recently brought over 900 hours of financial literacy training to more than 1,700 students and senior citizens.
The “900 Hours of Financial Literacy” initiative, in conjunction with the Bank’s 90th anniversary on 31 October 2022, was an extension to its earlier initiative to plant and nurture 9,000 mangrove trees in Tebuk Mendeleng, Sabak Bernam at a cost of RM684,538.
Working in partnership with several non-profit organisations including Rotary Club of Kuching and Great Heart Charity Association, the Bank staff volunteered for various roles ranging from teaching and role playing to preparation and ground arrangements.
The financial literacy programme delved into the history and importance of money, healthy financial practices, how the young can distinguish between needs and wants, and how people can work toward financial independence by saving regularly.
Alongside the financial literacy programme, the staff held supporting activities for the students and senior citizens, such as recycling initiatives, provision of food for the less fortunate and donation of school supplies to needy students.
A notable innovation in teaching financial literacy came in the form of the use of sign language for hearing-disabled students in Penang.
Ms Lim Gaik Chin, an OCBC Penang branch employee, enrolled in sign language classes prior to the activity to prime herself for the task involving SM Kebangsaan Pendidikan Khas Persekutuan in Tanjung Bungah.
OCBC Kulaijaya branch staff teaching financial literacy to the students of SJK (C) Seelong
“I was surprised to see the hearing-disabled students so excited and grateful, with none of them looking unhappy despite their disabilities. Their life is certainly not easy, especially when they are required to interact with people outside of their school. Knowing that they can only communicate with others through sign language motivated me to learn more about this fascinating language. This exercise has also reminded me to be grateful for everything I’ve been given and to accept and love who I am. I am glad to have been able to teach them about financial literacy which they embraced wholeheartedly," she said.
OCBC Bank CEO Dato’ Ong Eng Bin said it is important to establish a solid foundation in financial literacy, adding that it is a vital part of the Bank’s overarching commitment to sustainability.
“Through our 90 years of existence, OCBC Bank has strived to enable individuals, SMEs and businesses to build a more sustainable future. Knowing how to manage one's money is key to making sound financial decisions that lead to financial independence. Hence, this initiative was especially beneficial to school students as the training provides them with the skills and knowledge necessary for managing their financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial wellness.
“At a personal level, it was a joy for me to join in the initiative by contributing to financial literacy training for 48 students at my alma mater in Penang," he said.