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BMO Strongly Supports Recommendations of Canada’s Task Force on Financial Literacy


TORONTO - BMO Financial Group today offered its support for the Task Force on Financial Literacy’s final recommendations on a cohesive national strategy to support initiatives aimed at improving financial education.

“This Task Force couldn’t be more relevant and two outstanding Canadians have led its important work: Donald A. Stewart and L. Jacques Ménard,” said Bill Downe, President and Chief Executive Officer of BMO Financial Group. “BMO congratulates Minister Flaherty for this initiative. It will benefit Canadians, and we have a shared responsibility to build on this effort"

BMO submitted a set of recommendations as to how the Task Force could build a national strategy to ensure Canadians have the confidence to make informed financial decisions. BMO’s recommendations, which can be found at, called for:

* Building greater collaboration between the federal government and provincial education ministries to establish guidelines or standards for financial literacy.
* Ongoing, consistent assessment of learning impact at common grade levels across all regions.
* Setting a target level for financial literacy, such as establishing an index, and then measuring it against the index annually through public opinion research (Statistics Canada’s 2009 Canadian Financial Capability Survey could form the basis for a benchmark for future progress).

“We are pleased to see many of our recommendations reflected in the Task Force’s final recommendations,” said Mr. Downe. “Maintaining a balance when it comes to controlling spending, growing savings, borrowing smartly and investing wisely is critical. It’s the definition of Making Money Make Sense: BMO’s promise to customers and commitment to their success.”

Mr. Downe noted some of the recent steps BMO has taken to enhance financial literacy, including:

* BMO MoneyLogic: a free tool to view, track and manage spending and savings.
* Take Charge of Your Retirement Program: helps customers envision what their retirement will look like.
* BMO FirstHome Essential Kit: all the advice needed to buy a first home.
* BMO SmartSteps: helps Canadians save money.
* BMO SmartSteps for Students: helps develop responsible financial practices.
* BMO SmartSteps for Business: provides tips and advice for businesses.
* BMO SmartSteps for Investing: advice about the key basics around investments
* Retirement Savings Outlook tool: the first of its kind from a Bank that helps consumers figure out what they need to do to reach their retirement goal.
* Business Coach podcast: provides credible information to run a small business better.

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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 $412 billion as at October 31, 2010, and 38,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.


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