York students put their finance knowledge to the test

The Lord Mayor of York, Councillor David Carr, presents the prestigious Community First Inter-Schools Challenge Cup to students from Huntington School.

Students from five secondary schools in York took part in the final of a competitive Inter-Schools Finance Challenge Quiz at The Mansion House on October 17.

All Saints Roman Catholic, Archbishop Holgate’s, Fulford, Huntington and Joseph Rowntree schools were among the five teams that made it through to the final of the interactive quiz.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), a specialist team that combats loan sharks, teamed up with Community First Community Bank to deliver this informative event for young people in the city.

Year 10 and 11 students were put through their paces in a variety of complex finance related questions to complete for Community First’s Inter-Schools Challenge Cup 2022.

The quiz included four rounds and a total of 35 questions. The topics covered included budgeting, saving, debt, loan sharks, the meaning of terms like APR and online safety.

The quiz was intended to help students understand the dangers associated with using loan sharks, improve their financial knowledge, and increase awareness on how to protect themselves against scams and illegal lenders online.

It was an extremely close fought event, and after three rounds of difficult questions, Fulford and Huntington schools made it through to the grand final head-to-head; with the other three finalists All Saints Roman Catholic, Archbishop Holgate’s and Joseph Rowntree schools all even and only one point behind.

All Saints Roman Catholic were awarded third place after a very tense sudden death question round. The Grand Final Round was just as tight with only point separating the teams. With such close margins all participants should be extremely proud of their performance, but ultimately only one team could raise the Champions’ Cup and that team was Huntington School.

The Lord Mayor of York, Councillor David Carr, presented the prestigious Community First Inter-Schools Challenge Cup to the winning team from Huntington School as he commended all students and their teachers for getting involved.

Dr Gary Simpson, CEO of Community First Community Bank, who organised the event said: “Financial capability is a life skill, it’s not mathematics. Having knowledge of financial terms and processes that directly influences the students, their friends and their family’s lives is an essential for improving their life choices and general wellbeing. Through the whole quiz process, we aimed above all to nurture financial confidence in a fun and interactive way.”

The England Illegal Money Lending Team is a specialist unit that investigates and prosecutes loan sharks and provides support to victims of this crime. The IMLT used confiscated loan sharks’ profits to fund the quiz event, as part of a wider effort to raise awareness of the dangers of illegal lending.

A report by the Centre for Social Justice estimates that 1.08 million people could be borrowing money from an illegal lender, often known as a ‘loan shark’. This figure has more than trebled since 2010.

Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Loan sharks pose a serious threat to all communities as they prey on the most vulnerable in our society. It is paramount that young people stay informed about the dangers of illegal money lending and how to protect themselves from being exploited.

“This quiz was a great success and all the schools should be immensely proud of their efforts. We were extremely impressed by the level of engagement and enthusiasm shown by students throughout the day. We look forward to working with more schools in the future on this important topic.”

Cllr Andrew Waller, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “This quiz is a great opportunity to help young people learn more about the importance of developing their financial understanding. The topics being covered in this quiz help to support young people’s awareness of financial issues and how to avoid dangers, such as those posed by illegal money lending. At City of York Council, we therefore welcome the first inter-school quiz and look forward to it becoming an annual event for secondary schools.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by a loan shark, confidential support is available on the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 Helpline on 0300 555 2222 or complete our secure online form.