Amy Zhao, a client relationship manager from China Construction Bank (CCB), visited with a very curious and impressed group of kids at the International Montessori School of Beijing. From Qinghai province in western china, Zhao moved to Shandong province to study at the age of 15. She then moved to Beijing in 2002 for further studies and decided to stay on to work in Beijing. CCB is headquartered in Beijing, and Amy works in the asset custody division of the bank. She explained the workings of a bank to the children and talked about how client relationship managers help investors. The kids were very inquisitive and had lots of questions that Amy effortlessly answered, while shedding light on the entire banking industry from a high level for kids to understand. Read on to find out what kids think of banking in general and what their concerns are.
Roman, 11, Canada
What is investment risk or risk appetite and is it like gambling?
It is the degree of risk you are comfortable with, when you invest. It is a little like gambling, but less so, if you educate yourself about market trends.
Sally, 11, China
Can banks fail? Do banks invest our money that we deposit and lend it out?
There are government bodies that regulate markets to ensure banks don’t go bankrupt and they also have insurances to avoid such issues. Investing your money is every bank’s basic business. That is what they primarily do. They do have other avenues to generate income too, though.
Ben, 10, Canada
What is the average age to open an account and how can one start a bank?
The average age to start an account in China is 18 years. To start a bank, you need a license, you need to register with the government, get a location, and have enough funds to begin.
Alex, 11, Singapore
How do they decide the rate of conversion for currency?
That changes every day so it’s different and all websites have that info. It’s something that depends on the market and a lot of other factors. Each bank will then offer their rate for a day based on their calculations. They’ll all be a little different.
Erik, 12, USA
What are the various kinds of investment products?
There are three dominant ones. Stocks, which are high risk and need a lot of knowledge, bonds (government bonds, with lower risk probability of losing money is low, financial institution bonds, and corporate bonds), and funds. They all offer different options to get a higher rate of return than what a bank might directly offer.
Jennifer, 12, USA
What is a personal investor?
A person or individual who banks directly and is a personal client, as opposed to corporate investor for a big company.
Sissi, 12, China
Can we lose a line of credit?
If we all deposit our money and then withdraw it for our expenses too, will the bank have no money and go bankrupt? Yes, it’s based on your credit or track record. Credit cards mean that you’ve borrowed for a month. If you don’t pay back on time you’ll lose your credit line. Banks rarely go bankrupt if deposits equal withdrawals, because while that is their primary source of income, banks have other investments and avenues that bring in revenue.
Ashley, 11, Singapore
What do I need to do in college to work in a bank?
Most people need math, economics in college. Majors in finance, market and asset management are also quite popular for those seeking a career in finance.
Florina, 11, USA
Can kids have Credit Cards?
They can get add-on cards on their parents’ credit cards, but not of their own.
Tina, 12, Hong Kong
What are the risks of credit card usage?
People may steal it. We might use it more than needed and create financial problems for ourselves. Identity theft using different techniques is a huge problem too. However, banks have things in place like text messages for transactions, passwords on accounts, and freezing the account in case it’s stolen.
Roxie, 11, China
What is the limit of the amount for withdrawal?
That depends on where you withdraw. ATM machines in China have RMB 20,000 per day limit. At the teller inside a bank though, you can withdraw your entire balance.
Charlie, 11, China
Stock risks are high but why do people still invest?
Because those people have enough knowledge to make a calculated risk, they are open to taking a chance. The fact is that the higher the risk, the higher the return too, if it goes well.
Calvin, 11, USA
What are the different jobs in banks?
Client relationship manager, like me, account manager, bank tellers, accountants, management positions are a few examples.
This article originally appeared on pages 30-31 of the September 2016 Issue of beijingkids magazine. Click here for your free online copy. To find out how you can obtain a hard copy, contact email@example.com.
PHOTOS: DAVE’S STUDIO