BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

March 13, 2012 09:59 ET

BMO Kicks Off March Break With One Year Anniversary for BMO SmartSteps for Parents

- Online tool helps parents teach children the value of money

- Includes suite of tools, advice, interactive games, and access to leading experts

- Leger report reveals only 54 per cent of parents have discussed household finances with their children

- 37 per cent are not confident their children have a firm grasp of money management

- Open a new Kids Discounted Banking Plan, deposit $25 in coins or cash, and BMO will deposit an additional $25

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 13, 2012) - As Canadian families kick-off their March Break, BMO Bank of Montreal reminds parents to take time to discuss money matters with their children.

This month marks the one year anniversary of the launch of BMO SmartSteps® for Parents, an online, interactive hub to help parents educate children on financial literacy. The resource is free and available to all Canadians; it aligns with recommendations from the Federal Government's Task Force on Financial Literacy.

A BMO survey, conducted by Leger Marketing, reveals only half of parents surveyed (54 per cent) have talked with their children about household finances and 37 per cent are not certain their children have a firm grasp on the basics of money management.

BMO SmartSteps for Parents provides access to leading experts, including Alyson Schafer, parenting expert and psychotherapist. Ms. Schafer noted that parents believe the onus is on them to instil responsible money management skills in their children, but underscored that in today's economic climate, the importance of augmenting these lessons with outside tools and advice.

"The speed of information and channels are many and dynamic, and the reality is that children are adapting to new ways of learning," said Su McVey, Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Parents, along with financial institutions,
share the responsibility of bringing the topic of money management into everyday family dialogue, but you have to make it fun and engaging. BMO SmartSteps for Parents is designed to address this challenge."

BMO SmartSteps for Parents offers saving and spending lessons, along with practical and simple tools, including:

  • Age & Stage Sections: Articles, interactive tools and games address key money issues for separate age groups
  • Expert Blogs: Parents can take advantage of expert advice and recommendations on how to best educate their children about the value of money and smart money management.
  • The Zone: Kids, tweens and teens can tap into age-appropriate activities including online games that help younger children recognize money and older children identify "needs" versus "wants"
  • Web Series: Canadian parents discuss how they are teaching savings, spending and budgeting to their children. In addition, BMO experts provide real life tips and advice that can easily be applied at home

The Leger survey also found:

  • 72 per cent of parents say they let their children oversee their own money
  • 69 per cent of parents learned money management skills from their parents

Also, when parents come into a branch with their children from March 1 to April 30, and open a new account within a new Kids Discounted Banking Plan and deposit $25 in coins or cash, BMO will deposit an additional $25 to help kick-start their savings. For more information, including offer terms and conditions, please visit www.bmo.com/smartparentspromo.

BMO SmartSteps for Parents is part of BMO's ongoing commitment to Making Money Make Sense. Since 2009, BMO has introduced various tools to help Canadians stay on top of their personal finances, including BMO SmartSteps, BMO SmartSteps for Business, BMO SmartSteps for Students, BMO SmartSteps for Investing and BMO MoneyLogic.

To learn more about BMO SmartSteps for Parents, visit www.bmo.com/smartparents.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $538 billion as at January 31, 2012, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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