The Bank of Saipan on March 6 launched the first in a series of financial literacy videos titled, “Dollars & Sense, a Guide to Personal Finance and Banking for Ages 7 to 107.” The bank initiative aims to provide educational material on money matters to prepare and/or enhance the financial well-being of those living in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The videos will provide useful information on money matters for all ages, from as young as 7 years to tweeners to high schoolers to college students and older. Bank of Saipan CEO John Z. Arroyo said that the development of the financial literacy video is the bank’s response to fill the need for the practical knowledge that is often taken for granted: money management. “Many of us have grown up learning important lessons and life skills taught to us at school, by parents, family, and friends. Others we learn on the job. One very important lesson often missed is how to manage money. After being in this business for 30 years I have personally seen the lack of this knowledge in customers/members across the range of banks and the credit union where I have worked,” Arroyo said. According to Arroyo, the financial industry, particularly the banks and credit unions have sought to make up for the knowledge gap by developing programs to educate young and old on campus and at workshops. “This effort by the Bank of Saipan is unique in that it is focused solely on the CNMI although the lessons taught are applicable anywhere else in the world,” he said.
Arroyo recalls that the development of the financial literacy video started about a year ago, shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the island. Bank of Saipan created a contest to help keep schoolchildren busy and focused on family and friends during the lockdown. The bank solicited the help of island educators to put the contest together, judge the submissions and assist with judging. “When the contest ended, we wanted to do more and the idea to create an entertaining way to help folks understand money was formulated. The educators stayed on board and were instrumental in moving the project from inspiration to reality,” Arroyo said.
Bank of Saipan is committed to provide financial support, direction, and banking expertise to produce the full series of videos for various age groups. “This video is the first installment of many more to come. It and the next three or four to follow targets individuals in the 7-10 age group. The next series of videos will target the 11-16 age group. After that we will focus on teens preparing to graduate from high school and young adults in college or the workplace. The final series of videos will target older adults,” Arroyo said. “Dollars & Sense, a Guide to Personal Finance and Banking for Ages 7 to 107” may be viewed on the Bank of Saipan YouTube channel.