BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

November 09, 2015 06:00 ET

BMO Annual Financial Literacy Report: Majority of Canadians Still Give Themselves a Passing Grade, But Concern Over Their Finances is Growing

While confident in their knowledge, one-quarter are uncomfortable discussing personal finance with their kids, while another quarter lack the resources to have 'the talk'

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 9, 2015) - An overwhelming number of Canadians (97 per cent) give themselves a passing grade for their level of financial literacy, according to BMO's 5th Annual Financial Literacy Month Survey. Of that number, 68 per cent give themselves an "A" or "B" grade, up from 56 per cent last year.

Regional Breakdown - Financial Literacy Report Card

Financial Literacy Grade Total Atlantic Canada Quebec Ontario Prairies Alberta BC
A 20 % 20 % 32 % 15 % 13 % 19 % 15 %
B 48 % 39 % 44 % 54 % 43 % 45 % 46 %
C 24 % 33 % 19 % 19 % 36 % 29 % 30 %
D 5 % 1 % 2 % 7 % 5 % 3 % 6 %
F 2 % 2 % 3 % 1 % 2 % 3 % <1 %

The report, conducted by Pollara, also revealed that:

  • Two thirds of Canadians are more conscious of their finances this year because of the volatility of the Canadian economy
  • The current economic situation in Canada has prompted 64 per cent of Canadians to become more educated about their finances
  • Two-thirds of Canadians say they are knowledgeable about how to stay informed about financial issues

"We are here to help Canadians and support them with the knowledge and resources to make the right financial decisions for every stage of their lives," said Connie Stefankiewicz, Chief Marketing Officer, BMO Financial Group. "BMO is proud to support the efforts of the federal government on financial literacy through its partnership with the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education."

In addition:

- In 2012, CFEE and BMO launched the Talk With Our Kids About Money Day program, marked by Talk With Our Kids About Money Day, which is held on the third Wednesday in April annually.

- The Talk With Our Kids About Money initiative features a Home Program for families and a School Program for students and teachers and provides online resources to help young Canadians learn more about money and personal finances.

- Additionally, BMO offers a wide range of complimentary tools designed to help customers get a better understanding of their current finances and future planning. Click here to learn more.

One Quarter of Canadians Do Not Feel Comfortable Discussing Financial Matters with Children, While Another Quarter Lack Resources To Do So

According to the report, one-quarter (24 per cent) of Canadians do not feel comfortable discussing finances with children. Furthermore, another 28 per cent do not feel they have the resources to talk with children about financial matters.

"Canadians are increasingly aware of the complexity of managing one's financial affairs. They are concerned about the readiness of their children for the financial decisions they will face," said Gary Rabbior, President of the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE). "The Talk With Our Kids About Money program gets teachers and schools engaged - and supports parents in getting the conversations started at an early age. The collaboration of parents at home, and teachers at school, can make an incredible difference in the financial futures of our children."

For more information on the Talk With Our Kids About Money program, visit: http://talkwithourkidsaboutmoney.com/.

The survey results cited in the BMO 2015 Financial Literacy Report, conducted by Pollara, are compiled from a random sample of 1000 Canadians 18 years of age and over between October 21st and 22nd, 2015. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of approximately $672 billion as of July 31, 2015, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

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