TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/17/12 -- BMO Bank of Montreal today announced enhancements to its popular Smart Saver account, designed to help customers build their savings faster and help them to achieve their overall savings goals.
The enhancements, effective immediately, include:
-- Interest on savings to be paid on all balances, meaning no minimum balance is required-- Free transfers from the Smart Saver account to other BMO accounts-- Continued access to the Smart Saver account through all BMO channels including online and mobile banking, telephone banking, BMO branches and BMO ATMs
"The changes to our high interest savings account are designed to help Canadians reach their savings goals faster by boosting the rate at which their savings can grow with our best-in-class interest rate, and with reduced fees," said Ernie Johannson, Senior Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal.
The personal savings rate in Canada was 3.9 per cent of disposable income in the third quarter of 2012 - above its past-decade average of 3.3 per cent - suggesting households are beginning to take a more serious approach to rebuilding savings in the face of elevated debts. In fact, the 2nd Annual BMO Rainy Day Survey shows that more than half (54 per cent) of Canadians have more than three months of savings available, and almost half (49 per cent) have access to more than $5,000 if needed.
"With savings, the general rule of thumb is to set aside an emergency fund equal to three to six months of your income," said Ms. Johannson. "Having these savings available to handle future fluctuations in income or unexpected expenses is essential, and BMO has tips and tools to help Canadians grow and manage their savings."
Currently the BMO Smart Saver account offers a 1.2 per cent interest rate - the highest rate offered among Canada's major financial institutions for a full-service savings account without minimum balance requirements.
The 2nd Annual BMO Rainy Day Survey was conducted by Pollara and completed online between August 2 and August 6, 2012, with a sample of 1000 Canadians. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
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 $525 billion as at October 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.
Matt Duffin, Toronto
Valerie Doucet, Montreal
Laurie Grant, Vancouver