BMO Survey Shows Canadians Want to Improve Savings

    TORONTO, Feb. 18 /CNW/ - A majority of Canadians are looking for ways to
improve their savings in order to shield themselves in the event of a sudden
change in their personal financial circumstances, according to a new survey
from BMO Financial Group.
    The BMO Savings Monitor Survey is a three-part series gauging the
opinions of Canadians on the global financial crisis and its impact on their
saving and investing strategies throughout the RRSP season.

    This second BMO Savings Monitor survey reveals that amongst those

    -   57 per cent are looking at ways to improve their savings in case of a
        sudden change in circumstances
    -   One-in-five plan to cut back on purchases both small and large and 17
        per cent will cancel or delay travel plans
    -   One-third plan on cutting back their RRSP contribution
    -   One-quarter will not contribute to their RRSP this year

    "We applaud Canadians who are responding to the economic downturn by
reconsidering their spending and savings habits," said Linda Knight, President
and Chief Operating Officer of BMO Mutual Funds. "We also strongly encourage
Canadians to continue making RRSP contributions so that they aren't trading
their long term financial future in the short term."

    A new outlook

    The survey reveals Canadians have varying views on the global financial
crisis and economic downturn.

    -   If the economy suddenly took a turn for the better, 43 per cent would
        start to spend normally again, secure in the fact that the downward
        cycle was coming to a close
    -   Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of respondents would embrace the
        lessons of the last six months by saving more and being more
        financially aware
    -   21 per cent feel confident that the economy will recover in the next
        few months

    Are Canadians planning for the future?

    Based on the results, it is clear that some Canadians still don't feel
they are in need of a financial plan - regardless of the economic uncertainty.

    -   24 per cent of survey respondents feel they would start to plan if
        they made more money
    -   13 per cent agree they do not need one - they have it all under

    "Financial plans are not only for the affluent," added Knight. "Planning
for a financially secure and rewarding future is critical to Canadians."
    The Leger Marketing online poll was conducted from January 14 to January
18, 2009 and is based on a sample of 1,508 Canadians aged 18 and older. The
margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

For further information:

For further information: Deborah Rowe, Toronto,,
(416) 867-3996; Lucie Gosselin, Montreal,, (514)
877-1101; Laurie Grant, Vancouver,, (604) 665-7596

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