National Bonds now has more customers under the age of 18. That's incredible when you consider the entire customer base stands at about 660,000. Work out the percentage and the under 18s make up 16 per cent of the total number of bondholders.
According to the organisation's chief executive, Mohammed Qasim Al Ali, not only are the number of young bondholders increasing, but the amounts they are saving are going up as well - by 25 per cent no less in the past year. This year alone, 7,000 youngsters have already signed up to the scheme and the organisation reports a 12 per cent year-on-year growth in savers aged under 18.
Whether these young people are being spurred on by their parents, by the National Bonds' financial literacy campaign or have taken on board the lessons learnt by their parents from the global economic crisis is unclear. Perhaps they are attracted by the idea of winning big with their savings as National Bonds is a prize-linked savings scheme with up to 41, 750 prizes up for grabs.
Whatever the reason for the increase in savers, the key issue is that young people are saving. It doesn't even matter if it's their parents saving on their behalf; what matters is that the National Bonds' mission to create a savings culture in the UAE is finally starting to have the desired effect.
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Picture: Jeff Topping / The National