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Sorry sir, the dog ate my lunch money

Two statistical releases came out today that make an interesting story.

First, children are "more savvy" about finances than their parents were, with the pocket money of kids tagged at
£6.32 (about $10) weekly … seems a very exact number but it is an average. 

Not surprisingly children are very with it when it comes to technology, with ten-year olds regularly shopping with their parents' debit and
credit cards online.  32% of children buy computer games online, 21% music and 18% books.  In addition, the average eight-year old gets their first mobile phone, with 40% of 7 to 15 year olds buying ringtones and games for their mobile phones.

These stats were the result of an online survey carried out by Populus in January, covering 1,435 people including 546 children aged seven to 15 in England, Wales and Scotland.

Interesting, especially the comment that a third of children feel under pressure about financial decision-making, even though they are so young.

Ah well, nothing like getting into the spirit of British society at such a tender age is there?

Then I saw the second survey that made me laugh, which is particularly notable as it came from the Bank of England and there's not a lot to laugh about at the Bank these days.

Apparently the Bank received £34 million claims for damaged or mutilated banknotes last year including torn, washed, stained and burnt money:

Torn/part of a note:     19,235     (£2.1 million)

Chewed/eaten:              4,916         (£113,134)
Washed:                        2,529          (£82,128)
Contaminated:               4,287   (£30.6 million)
Fire/flood damage:        1,451        (£1 million)
Total:                        32,418   (£33.9 million)

Source: Bank of England, 2008 figures

In other words, we have over £82,000 of money laundering where notes were accidentally washed through washing machines; and

Figures were down by 2% for total claims, except for those that were chewed or eaten by pets.  These were up 23% over 2007 to £113,000, and may be a reflection of the credit crisis as dogs and cats are starving without dog and cat food, so they're eating their lord and master's money instead!

The particular item of interest in the release was also the Bank's comment that they expect electronic payments to exceed the  use of notes and coins in frequency of payment volumes by 2015. 

The cashless society is coming … what will the dog do then?

About Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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