Money & Power

Fairer Tales: This Free E-Book Retells Fairytales With a Money Twist to Teach Kids About Finance

An award-winning author creates stories on modern princesses who don't need princes while teaching little girls how to invest, establish businesses, and negotiate all by themselves.
IMAGE HSBC PHILIPPINES
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At the heart of every children’s book or every fairy tale lies a lesson awaiting its young readers. Imagine if those stories armed children with practical life skills—lessons that they can take with them as they grow older.

HSBC Philippines is engaging its next-generation clients with timeless fairy tales featuring favorite characters Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel, but with a money twist. The book is titled Fairer Tales. The bank commissioned award-winning English author Emma Dodd to update the well-loved children’s stories and create modern heroines where the princesses are no longer waiting to be rescued. Instead, their financial know-how gets them through and saves the day.

Published by Hogs Back Books in Great Britain, the book was launched in the Philippines in line with International Women’s Month last March.

“We believe it is through storytelling that we can set a positive example for our young children,” says Peter Faulhaber, HSBC head of retail banking and wealth management in the Philippines.

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Cindy, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty teach kids about financial independence

Within the pages of the book, another HSBC executive, Michelle Andrews who heads Mortgages and Savings in the United Kingdom, writes: “Our research shows that gender stereotyping within popular culture and within the stories we tell our children plays a key role in shaping attitudes and financial behaviors that last a lifetime.” The bank “believes that if we can help turn this around, we will see children grow up to feel empowered and take control of their financial futures.”

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In the book, you can expect magical tales of saving, investment, and invention that showcase anyone can shape their own future with determination, imagination and some clever ways with money.

Cinderella still has to live with wicked stepsisters and she still has a fairy godmother and gets to go to the Royal Ball. But her happily ever after comes not after marrying the prince, but after designing sports shoes!

Sleeping Beauty wakes up on her own to find—not Prince Charming—but so many letters that have been waiting for her while she was in slumber. One of the letters turns out to be from her bank that shows the money she put away has grown thanks to the magic of compound interest.


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Modern day princesses teach kids the value of saving and growing their savings in order to achieve their dreams

Finally, we have Rapunzel who got tired of waiting to be rescued so she cuts her hair and turns it into a rope to get down from the tower. She offers to buy the property from the witch, then borrows money from the bank to convert it into her own home with rental spaces.

In introducing the book to its Philippine-based clients, HSBC launched a social media campaign where random kids were asked about their future. Then the video segued into encouraging the public to read the Fairer Tales. You can download a copy for free here.

To complement the video campaign, HSBC Philippines directly engaged two of its critical stakeholders: It hosted a family day for its staff with a children’s party theme; and invited clients of its wealth management service Premier to a children’s party at its offices in Bonifacio Global City and Alabang.


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HSBC Savings Bank President Patrick Carlos and the HSBC Alabang branch team with its financially independent princesses and little guests.

Themed “Live Happily Ever After,” modern-day princesses Cindy, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty graced the events and read aloud the book to the young audience. There were also games revolving around how to save and grow savings and a demonstration on how easy it is to deposit cash using the bank's machines.

Faulhaber shared that “during the event, the kids interacted with the princesses, asking them questions about money and finances. Discussing how to save with your children can pave the way for a more financially independent and confident future for our children and future generations.”

Everyone went home with a piggy bank, which can help them get started on their own happy money endings.

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Aneth Ng-Lim
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