By Daniel Hunter

Online research by YouGov for the British Bankers' Association (BBA) and financial education charity Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg) shows that more than two in three children get their first bank or building society account and mobile phone before they start secondary school.

The same number has access to a tablet and of these users more than half have downloaded a paid-for app either on their own or with help.

Despite this, findings show that children have a worrying lack of knowledge about banking and personal finance.

Less than one in four 8-15 year olds has heard of a current account and understand how it works and only one in eight is aware of and understands overdrafts. In addition, nearly three out of four 15 year olds with a bank account have a debit card.

Both the BBA and pfeg welcome the fact that the government is looking to introduce financial education into the secondary school curriculum for September 2014.

“Being able to handle money issues properly is one of the most important life skills for all of us, helping protect people from debt problems and financial distress,” said Anthony Browne, BBA chief executive.

Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of pfeg, added, "These figures show just how many financial decisions young people are now being faced with from an early age.”

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