The Government must ensure that all young people leave school able to manage their finances, a leading High Street bank claimed last night.
Barclays called on Ministers to make money education part of the National Curriculum so tomorrow's generation is equipped to handle mounting financial pressures.
Rising house prices and a "buy now pay later" culture had already raised personal debt in the UK to more than £1 trillion - £56 billion on credit cards.
From next year, Ministers plan to triple the amount students pay to study at university while at the same time encouraging more to go into higher education.
In the face of this, The Birmingham Post earlier this month launched a campaign urging the Government to make money management compulsory in schools.
Peter Kelly, head of financial inclusion at Barclays, said: "We very much endorse the fact that financial education needs to be delivered in schools as part of the curriculum.
"While recognising the curriculum is extremely busy already, it is important to build young people's awareness of money and budgeting skills so they can survive in later life.
"The sooner you start with that the sooner you build a more financially-savvy next generation.
" In my view, the key responsibility for that lies with the Government." At present, schools are encouraged to look at personal finance within the statutory subjects of citizenship and personal, social and health education which runs through all stages of the curriculum.
Last year also saw the introduction of the nonstatutory enterprise education component of workrelated learning, of which financial capability can form a part.
But personal finance is not compulsory and some schools do not touch upon it at all.
Recent research found one in four children will enter adulthood without any financial education.
Meanwhile, 43 per cent of families currently have no savings and 2.8 million adults live in homes with no bank account.
Labour MP for Erdington Sion Simon recently claimed banks had a responsibility to use some of their vast profits to deliver financial education to youngsters.
Mr Kelly replied: "Banks have a role to play but the primary responsibility lies with the Government and working out how best that can be delivered. Many banking staff go into schools to help, but what is needed is a coordinated strategy to deliver financial education at all levels."
Mr Kelly said Barclays donated tens of thousands of pounds to financial charities and credit unions each year.
"Financially aware" consumers were better for banks and the whole of society, said Mr Kelly.