A BUILDING Society expert has underlined the importance of young people getting into the savings habit when he was interviewed by a North-East school newspaper.

Chris Brown, products and marketing director with Darlington Building Society, faced questions from the editorial team at Hummersknott Academy, in Darlington.

The academy, which is part of the Advance Learning Partnership, is introducing a new finance page to its award-winning newspaper – the Hummersknott Academical – and invited Mr Brown to be put under the spotlight.

Subjects included in the questions included credit, savings, mortgages for first-time buyers, tax, different types of accounts available to young people, and managing student loans.

Mr Brown delivered key messages about financial management, including the need to be careful not to build up debts that can’t be repaid.

He also told the pupils: “You’re never too young to start saving – it’s a really good habit to get into that will stand you in good stead throughout your life.

“I was one of six children, and my dad was an accountant, so we had that savings message instilled into us. It made us appreciate that you have to make sacrifices if you want nice things and achieve your goals.”

Mr Brown also highlighted the need for more homes to be built across the country, with the National House Building Council reporting that 12 per cent fewer homes were built in 2023 than in 2022.

“We need the Government to come to the table in terms of housing reforms to make it easier to build new homes and get more people onto the property ladder,” he said.

Asked what should be included in the newspaper’s new finance section, he said he would like to see it “champion greater investment in the North-East as a place to build businesses and create jobs”.

Most read:

Be the first to know with The Northern Echo. Our flash sale brings the latest local happenings directly to you. Take advantage of our exclusive offer: £4 for four months or 40 per cent off annual. Your community's stories await.

Darlington Building Society, recently announced as the MoneyAge Building Society of the Year, invests heavily in specialist financial education through a partnership with WizeUp, which delivers workshops in North-East schools.

He said: “Since it was founded in Darlington in 1856, Darlington Building Society’s core purpose has been to help people buy their own homes, and we believe in financial education because we want to start that journey towards home ownership at a young age.

“To see a school in our area producing such a brilliantly written newspaper, and for it to introduce a finance section, is fantastic to see.”