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8 things banks need to know about Gen Z
You might think Generation Z — beginning with people born just around the turn of the current century who are now 14 to 22 years old — are too young to know what they really want yet. But recent surveys show members of this group have strong views, habits and preferences that stand in sharp contrast to the millennials who preceded them, and that make them closer in attitude to their parents, grandparents and even their great-grandparents, who grew up during the Depression.

One reason for the flashback in attitudes is that people’s views on financial matters tend to be shaped by the economic events that occurred during their childhood. And the not-too-distant economic doldrums are etched in the minds of young consumers.

“The defining things in life are the things that happen in early formative years, your early teens and mid-teens,” said Bill Handel, vice president of research at Raddon Research. “For Gen Z, that event was the financial crisis — they were 9 or 10 years old.”

The experience left them pragmatic and cleareyed.

“The notion of the American Dream, which was a baby boomer notion, disappeared a little with Gen X, but came back in full force with the millennials,” Handel said. “Gen Z doesn’t think this notion of the American Dream is something you can count on.”

As a result, they are hardworking, debt averse, frugal and already saving for retirement.

The following is an examination of eight important facts about their economic philosophy, banking habits and the financial services options at their disposal.


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