Banks are an active and essential part of the daily life of most Canadians – 99 per cent of Canadians have an account with a financial institution — and so millions turn to banks every day for services and advice to help them save, plan for retirement, start businesses and buy homes.
As a result, banks already provide their customers with a wealth of educational material, information, tools and services to help them make the best financial choices. But they go further. Banks are also leaders in supporting financial literacy activities and initiatives in communities across Canada.
What You Need to Know:
- Financial knowledge is an essential life skill. Canadians who make sound, long-term financial decisions help to build their own financial security and contribute to the strength of the Canadian economy as a whole. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has a Financial Literacy Self-Assessment Tool to help Canadians figure out how their financial literacy skills and knowledge measure up compared to other Canadians.
- Banks recognize that they have a role to play in contributing to financial literacy for all Canadians and they lead and sponsor many financial literacy programs, including the Canadian Bankers Association’s seminar programs, Your Money Students and Your Money Seniors.
How Banks are Helping
Canadians who make healthy, long-term financial decisions help to build their own financial security, and contribute to the strength of the Canadian economy as a whole.
At the same time, a lack of knowledge and understanding of the risks and benefits of financial products and services can lead to financial problems.
And so, the banking industry has long recognized that it has a role to play in supporting and strengthening financial literacy, and banks support many programs to help Canadians, including the CBA’s free seminar programs, Your Money Students and Your Money Seniors.
Bringing Financial Basics to the Classroom
Providing young Canadians with information and tools to understand the importance of money management at an early age helps build the skills they will use throughout their lives. Since 1999, banker volunteers have delivered over 8,500 seminars to more than 256,000 students across Canada, teaching them the basics of how to save, budget, and protect their money.
In 2019, the Canadian Bankers Association launched a refreshed and modernized version of Your Money Students. Improvements to the program include:
- A modern design and visual identity to enhance learning outcomes for today’s young Canadians;
- Improved delivery methods to increase engagement in the classroom;
- Interactive web-based “Lifestyle Reality Check” budgeting app; and
- Cloud-based technology to modernize program administration and coordination with volunteers and teachers.
Learn more at www.cba.ca.
Improving the Financial Literacy of Seniors
Launched in 2014, the CBA’s national financial literacy program for seniors, Your Money Seniors, provides information on cash management in retirement and how to avoid financial abuse and financial fraud.
Learn more at www.cba.ca.
The banks jointly support two free, non-commercial seminar programs: Your Money Students and Your Money Seniors. Both programs are developed in collaboration with the FCAC and delivered by bankers volunteering in their communities. Find out more at https://yourmoney.cba.ca
Bank Support for Credit Counselling
There are many community organizations delivering education on financial skills to Canadians and many of these programs are supported by banks and involve bankers. Not-for-profit credit counselling agencies provide help for individuals who are having difficulty repaying their debts, including guidance on budgeting and money management and, if necessary, intervention on repaying debts through structured debt management plans. Banks provide volunteers for credit counselling boards and donate millions of dollars to support the work credit counselling agencies undertake in their communities to provide financial education and counselling.