Young Americans Bank

Kids these days can’t just drag a crate to the end of the driveway and call it a lemonade stand.

They need a logo, a website, a social networking strategy, someone to ensure regulatory compliance, and, yes, even a banker.

Nine-year-old Nyla Higgs turned to Young Americans Bank to navigate these complexities.

“They helped me write my business plan,” she said.

The late cable television pioneer Bill Daniels founded Young Americans Bank 25 years ago to demystify banking for youthful entrepreneurs like Nyla. Nobody expected it would survive this long. A Wall Street Journal headline heralded its opening in August 1987 as if it were a faddish toy store: “What could be cuter than a kid first learning the joys of ATMs?”

These days, banking is no longer cute.

“The industry has gone from one of the most trusted to one of the most despised,” said Richard Martinez Jr., chief executive of Young Americans Bank.

Interest-rate manipulations, unexplained trading losses, money laundering for drug lords and rogue nations–these are just some of the allegations dominating headlines in the global banking industry.

Young Americans Bank focuses on how the banking industry is supposed to actually improve civilization, Mr. Martinez said.

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