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BMO Financial Group

June 12, 2015 06:00 ET

Quebec Ranks Second Among Provinces in Inaugural BMO Wealth Management Index

- National index ranks residents of each province on who is most successful at managing their wealth according to a variety of criteria

- Quebec places second behind Saskatchewan among provinces

- Quebecers scored well on having a low level of debt and having a financial strategy but could improve by consulting a professional to help develop their financial plan and by contributing to a rainy day fund

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - June 12, 2015) - BMO Wealth Management today launched a first-of-its-kind national Wealth Index, which provides a snapshot of Canadians' financial situation and measures their ability to manage their wealth.

The inaugural BMO Wealth Management Index ranks residents of each province, out of a score of 100, on which residents are most successful at managing their wealth. The study looked at a variety of criteria, including: having, reviewing and maintaining a financial plan; household debts and assets; retirement savings; having insurance in place; estate planning components; rainy day savings; and the sustainability of their current financial situation. The Index is unique among financial measures because it considers more than just "balance sheets" (i.e. how much money Canadian residents have).

Quebec has the second-highest score in Canada with a score of 71.1 out of 100. Saskatchewan came in first with a score of 72.9 and the national average score was 69.3.

Quebecers scored highest in the following areas:

  • Having a low amount of debt (an average of $80,300, which is almost $20,000 below the national average)
  • Having a financial strategy (81 per cent) and reviewing it on a regular basis (86 per cent)
  • Prioritizing retirement savings in a financial plan (70 per cent)
  • Having life insurance or disability insurance in place (73 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively)
  • Having an estate plan in order (59 per cent)

The categories in which Quebecers scored lowest included:

  • Not ensuring the efficacy of their financial plan (two thirds have not used a professional to draft their plan)
  • Not contributing to a rainy day fund (an average of $28,200 with only one fifth believing their rainy day fund would cover their expenses in an emergency)

"It's a wonderful achievement for Quebec to have the second-highest score among Canadian provinces. Quebecers seem to be taking the right steps towards ensuring their financial well-being," said Alan Desnoyers, Vice-President and Managing Director, Quebec, BMO Private Banking, a part of BMO Wealth Management. "The concept of wealth is multi-dimensional and that's why BMO Wealth Management launched this index - to examine the strengths of Canadians across all provinces, as well as areas for improvement in financial planning."

Quebecers Confident About Financial Preparedness

In addition to Index ranking questions, Quebecers were asked about how they would fare financially in the event of a major life event (such as getting married, the birth of a child, loss of a job, etc.) The results found:

  • Sixty-one per cent are confident that they would be prepared financially
  • Twenty-six per cent are not very confident that they would be prepared financially
  • Seven per cent are not at all confident that they would be prepared financially

"It's encouraging that close to two thirds of Quebecers believe they can take on a major change successfully," said Betsey Chung, Chief Marketing Officer, Canadian Banking & Wealth Management, BMO Financial Group. "Life events and market changes are often catalysts for people to reconsider their approach to wealth management. We're here to help clients turn these changes into opportunities - whether it's a fresh start, a new endeavour or a chance to give back."

BMO Wealth Management recently launched a multi-faceted ad campaign that is appearing across all customer experience platforms and webpages. The campaign tells the stories of clients going through significant life changes - newly single, aging parents, kids returning after university and changing market conditions, to name a few - and showcases how BMO Wealth Management can help clients turn those changes into opportunities for greater financial success and peace of mind.

BMO Wealth Management Index - Provincial Breakdown

Province Index Score
National 69.3
Saskatchewan 72.9
Quebec 71.1
Alberta 70.6
Newfoundland & Labrador 70.4
Nova Scotia 70.0
Ontario 69.2
Manitoba 68.4
PEI 66.7
B.C. 66.3
New Brunswick 58.9

BMO Wealth Management Index - Key National Findings:

  • Canadians scored well on having a financial strategy (81 per cent) and ensuring their loved ones were financially secure by having a life insurance policy (66 per cent)
  • Opportunities exist for them to improve by working with a professional to ensure the effectiveness of their financial plan (66 per cent have not used a professional) and prioritizing saving for retirement (65 per cent do not do so)
  • When Canadians were asked about how they would fare financially in the event of a major life event (such as getting married, the birth of a child, loss of a job, etc.), 62 per cent are confident that they would be prepared financially, 21 per cent are not very confident and 10 per cent are not at all confident

Survey results cited in this report are from online interviews with a random sample of 1,403 Canadians, 18 years of age and over, conducted between April 10th and 13th, 2015.

As a guideline, a probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 2.6%, 19 times out of 20. Results have been weighted using the latest census data to be representative of Canadians as a whole.

For more information on BMO Wealth Management, please visit: http://www.bmo.com/main/wealth-management.

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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 $633 billion as of April 30, 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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