BDO Poll: Half of Canadians admit to lying about finances

- Talking openly is only way to mitigate risks facing middle aged people, the group most likely to stretch the truth about their finances - 

TORONTO, Feb. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - Canadians are not always truthful when discussing their finances. According to a new poll, more than half of Canadians (51 per cent) do not tell family, friends and co-workers the entire truth about their financial situation citing the main reason (36 per cent) as the desire to protect loved ones from worry.

"We should be comfortable discussing our finances with those closest to us or a professional," said Doug Jones, Trustee in Bankruptcy for BDO Canada Limited, whose firm sponsored an Ipsos Reid poll to look at whether or not Canadians are honest about their personal finance situation. "There are a great many factors that bring people into my offices, but none of them should be cause for people to feel embarrassed – we live in challenging times."

Just over 50 per cent of people surveyed said they were most likely to bend the truth to some degree when it comes to their savings or ability to manage in a financial emergency.  "Canadians need to have conversations about finances and break down societal pressures that result in people feeling judged and uncomfortable. The best way to find out you are not alone in a situation is to talk to someone. There should not be, and cannot be, any stigma associated with seeking advice from a debt relief professional," said Jones. 

Of particular interest in the poll, middle-aged Canadians (35 to 54 years) were the group most likely to lie about their finances (54 per cent). Yet, it is the time when the earning potential is at its greatest and they should be saving for retirement. This is compounded by the reality of today's economic instability, fear of job loss, a volatile housing market and historic debt loads.

Key poll findings

Percentage of men who are not truthful versus women





Level of truthfulness based on financial situation

Savings/ability to manage in a financial emergency


Retirement plan


Lifestyle, entertainment, vacation affordability


Credit cards


Child's education savings, among parents


Bills/monthly expenses


Home/mortgage payments


Student/previous debt


What Canadians need in order to talk more openly and honestly about their financial situation:

Not feeling judged


Not feeling ashamed or uncomfortable


If financial help was needed


If someone else was talking about their financial difficulties first


If their relationship with the person(s) would not be jeopardized


If they know how to talk about it with others (they were not taught to speak about their finances)


Full methodological details and results are available here:

About BDO Canada Limited's Financial Recovery Services practice:

BDO Canada Limited's Financial Recovery Services practice has been in business since 1958.  BDO's advisors include Trustees in Bankruptcy and proposal administrators who are trained, certified, and knowledgeable about dealing with debt in Canada. BDO Trustees in Bankruptcy are Officers of the Court and licensed by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB), an agency of Industry Canada.  Trustees in Bankruptcy are the only professionals who are able to stop legal action against the debtor.

SOURCE BDO Canada Limited

For further information: Media inquiries please contact: Brown & Cohen Communications & Public Affairs Inc., Leslie Taschner 647-638-2429; Wendy Kauffman 416-725-9552

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