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Paying for a Child's Education 'the Best Investment You Can Make' Say Parents in New HSBC Study

***But many find making financial decisions about education daunting***

16 April 2014

New York - One in two parents in the U.S. (51 percent) believe paying for a child's education is the best investment you can make, according to new research out today from HSBC. The report, "The Value of Education: Springboard for Success", surveyed over 4,500 parents in 15 countries, including more than 300 in the U.S. Globally, some 58 percent of respondents agreed with this statement.

While the value of education is a widely held belief, it's often accompanied by anxiety and stress. More than a third (37 percent) of U.S. respondents said they find making financial decisions about educating their children daunting. Moreover, over half (51 percent) wish they had begun saving and planning earlier for their children's education.

Parents also expect a strong return on investment from educating their offspring. This is particularly true in the case of higher education and how well it prepares students for the corporate world. Globally, more than two in five parents (43 percent) say the ability to compete in the workplace is a key expectation of a successful university career. In the U.S. the figure is slightly higher at 44 percent. The survey additionally suggests there is now an almost universal expectation in the United States and around the world that children will go on to college (89 percent).

Parents also expect a strong return on investment from educating their offspring. This is particularly true in the case of higher education and how well it prepares students for the corporate world. Globally, more than two in five parents (43 percent) say the ability to compete in the workplace is a key expectation of a successful university career. In the U.S. the figure is slightly higher at 44 percent. The survey additionally suggests there is now an almost universal expectation in the United States and around the world that children will go on to college (89 percent).

According to the report, more than three quarters (77 percent) of parents in America expect to fund educating their children partially or fully themselves, either through current income or savings. This compares to the global average of 91 percent.

Andrew Ireland, Head of Wealth Management, North America, HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., said: "Education continues to be a top financial priority for parents, with the expectation that it will positively impact their children's lives. HSBC can help families to balance such goals with other competing aspirations, and the reality is it's never too early to start investing and saving for your child's future."

Notes to editors:

Practical steps for planning your child's education

Based on the research findings, below are some important insights and practical actions for parents to consider when planning for their child's education.

  1. Start saving early. 51 percent of U.S. parents wish they had started saving for their child's education earlier. It is never too early to start planning for the future.
  2. Know what is available. 37 percent of U.S. parents find making decisions about their child's education daunting. Parents should ensure that they have enough information to make informed choices, and the funds to support the path they want their child to take.
  3. Evaluate the options. Over a third (35 percent) of U.S. parents would consider private elementary or high school for their child. 58 percent would consider sending their child overseas for college and 55 percent would like their child to study at postgraduate level. It's always a good idea to think ahead and research the best options for you and your family.

About the Value of Education Survey
The Value of Education is a new global consumer research study which explores parents' attitudes and behaviours towards children's education. This report, Springboard for success, represents the views of 4592 parents in 15 countries around the world: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States.

The survey was conducted online in December 2013 and January 2014, among parents who have at least one child under the age of 23 currently (or soon to be) in education, and who are solely or partially responsible for making decisions about their child's education. This independent research study was commissioned by HSBC and carried out by Ipsos MORI.

The Value of Education global report is available on www.hsbc.com > Retail Banking and Wealth Management.

HSBC Group
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 6,300 offices in 75 countries and territories in Europe, Hong Kong, Rest of Asia-Pacific, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,671bn at 31 December 2013, the HSBC Group is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organisations.

HSBC North America Holdings Inc. is the holding company for HSBC Holdings plc's operations in the United States and, at 31 December 2013, had assets of US $290.0bn (US GAAP). The company's businesses serve customers in the following key areas: retail banking and wealth management, commercial banking, private banking, and global banking and markets.

HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Markets (USA) Inc. whose ultimate parent is HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC). The Company is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc. which is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC.

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