Natwest and the Royal Bank of Scotland are backing a scheme to bring in-house banking to 100 inner-city primary and secondary schools.
Pupils will learn how to save early, setting up their own savings accounts in school banks run by fellow students.
The children will be trained by cashiers, while a financial education expert is available to advise teachers.
The scheme aims to teach children the value of money and the strategies and outcomes of keeping to a careful budget through direct experience of personal banking.
They will be able to set up accounts and pay in money at school – although, importantly, they will not be able to withdraw cash.
Stephen Moir, head of community investment at RBS, said: "The banks help children build up confidence in handling money."
Signed-up schools will receive resources such as pens, badges and a safe, causing some critics to voice concerns that giving young children these branded learning materials may be strategic placement on the banks' part.
The project was launched in response to RBS research which revealed that two-thirds of 14 to 18-year-olds from low-income areas had never received any financial education but that nearly 40 per cent wanted to learn more.
© Adfero Ltd