Concern over new Visa-launched comic aimed at kids 0
Visa Canada and Marvel have teamed up to launch Avengers: Saving the Day, a limited edition comic book that introduces kids to basic money concepts such as budgeting, saving and banking. The comic - plus teacher's guide and Budget Blaster Worksheet - is available at practicalmoneyskills.ca. A debt counselling agency in B.C. is critical of the comic because it doesn't teach the basics, like opening a bank account. (SCREEN GRAB)
Visa Canada has launched a kids' comic book that touts borrowing money to buy things like a more expensive house, raising eyebrows among those who counsel people about consumer debt.
While praising Visa for its vast array of financial teaching tools, the Credit Counselling Society in B.C. questioned whether the comic missed the mark for younger children.
"I don't (think) they've done a good enough job of highlighting the repayment aspect," said the society's Julie Jaggernath.
In the comic, produced with Marvel, Spiderman asks another character, Ironman, what a bank is. Ironman explains a bank manages your money. A female spy, named Black Widow, goes on to explain banks also make loans "so you can buy something more expensive like a house or sports car that turns into a helicopter.."
Kids, said Jaggernath, benefit more by learning simple things, like how to open a bank account and make deposits.
"There's a step that has to come first. Maybe Spiderman should have been working and getting a paycheque before that conversation happened."
Visa Canada spokeswoman Melissa Cassar defended the comic, saying it's one tool in a broad range offered by the company to teach financial literacy to children.
"It really is a tool to engage and inspire those conversations," said Cassar.
"Visa takes pride in the work it does, and has done, with Marvel in this document."
The Bank of Canada warns the biggest threat to the economy is growing household debt.
The comic also contains scenes about budgeting and saving in later pages.