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When it comes to money, mother knows best, according to RBC Canadian Account Habits Poll


TORONTO, JULY 24, 2006 — When it comes to money, most Canadian kids learn from their mom. According to a new poll from RBC Financial Group, a majority of Canadians with a bank account (56 per cent) say that it was their mother who taught them the most about managing and saving money as a child.

Dad came in second at 40 per cent, with other family members coming in at seven per cent. Four per cent say they learned on their own, and another 4 per cent said they learned most from their financial institution, be it a bank, trust company or credit union.

In every region across Canada, the average age for opening a bank account was between the ages of 12 and 14, with 45 per cent of teens doing so to deposit a first pay cheque. Another 26 per cent said they did so to deposit a monetary gift, and 21 per cent said they were depositing an allowance.

Interestingly, the survey found that many of us (44 per cent) still bank with the same financial institution where we opened our first account. This is especially true for Quebecers, who are far more likely than other Canadians to keep an account open (59 per cent) with their original financial institution.

“Banking is rapidly evolving, so we wanted to look back at how Canadians made their initial banking choices, as nowadays money is managed so differently,” said Doug Collins, head of consumer accounts and payment services, RBC Financial Group. “Our survey showed us that, while mom and dad influenced how we first began saving our money, today technology is influencing how we manage and spend it, and whether or not we even carry cash.”

According to the RBC poll, 52 per cent of Canadians with a bank account say they carry less cash today than they did two years ago (12 per cent say they carry more), and an overwhelming majority (70 per cent) say they have knowingly left home without carrying cash. Younger Canadians are more inclined to leave home without carrying cash, as approximately 82 per cent of those 18 to 34 have done so, compared to 54 per cent among those 55 and over.

Of those Canadians who have found themselves at a checkout without enough cash to pay for their purchase, 62 per cent of those polled turned to their debit cards for payment (18 per cent opted to use credit cards; 19 per cent elected not to buy the item at that time.)

“In the past, leaving home without cash would have severely restricted what we were able to do,” added Collins. “Today’s technology makes people’s lives much easier - we can get what we need or want very conveniently.”

According to the RBC poll, nearly all Canadians with a bank account use a debit card (94 per cent), and most use it regularly (64 per cent). In fact, a quarter of those polled (25 per cent) said they always use it, and among those aged 25 to 34 years old, that number rises to 33 per cent. Only 13 per cent of Canadians say they rarely or never use debit. Interestingly, more woman than men said they always or usually use their card (70 per cent vs. 58 per cent, respectively).

The RBC Canadian Account Habits Poll also found that 41 per cent of respondents said they would use their debit card for items costing less than $5.00, although residents in Quebec were far less likely, with only 28 per cent saying they would do so. Almost 70 per cent of those polled would consider using their debit card for purchases of $10.00 or less.

“Financial institutions are responding to how Canadians want to manage their money and are developing products that accommodate more frequent use of debit cards,” said Collins. “A good example is the recent growth of ’no limit’ account offerings - accounts that let people make as many debits as they want for a flat monthly fee.”

The RBC Canadian Account Habits Poll was conducted by Ipsos-Reid between May 23 and 29, 2006. The online survey is based on a randomly selected representative sample of 2,000 adult Canadians with a bank account. With a representative sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 2.2 percentage points, or 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian banking population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.


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