By Staff | September 24, 2008 | Last updated on September 24, 2008
3 min read
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(September 24, 2008) They might seem like the financial giants that want to gobble up the independent channel, but apparently the banks are falling short in helping Canadians understand their personal finances.

According to a poll conducted by Harris/Decima for BMO Financial Group, 41% of Canadians think banks make financial matters more complicated.

“While the survey showed a large number of Canadians turn to banks for information or advice, there is a huge opportunity for financial institutions to improve on helping people make sense of their money,” said Sherry Cooper, chief economist, BMO Financial Group.

More than half of respondents believe they need to reach a target income level before they can justify having a professional prepare a financial plan.

When it comes to understanding financial concepts, the results were a little puzzling. Only 50% understood the power of compound interest, yet 94% were able to provide a satisfactory definition of a mutual fund.

“Most Canadians say they have an average level of knowledge when it comes to money matters,” said Cooper. “However with recent market volatility and the expanding global financial crisis, it is imperative that Canadian financial institutions do a better job in helping Canadians understand their personal finances.”

The good news is, the poll found that Canadians wanted to know more about finance, on topics ranging from debt management, to investment strategies and minimizing taxes.

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Desjardins to offer group TFSA

(September 24, 2008) Desjardins Financial Security has begun plugging the tax-free savings account (TFSA), announcing that it will offer employers the opportunity to offer the accounts as a part of group retirement plans.

“Employee benefits are an indispensable tool in the overall management of human resources for our clients,” says Eric Filion, senior director of product development and marketing, group retirement savings at Desjardins Financial Security. “We are extremely pleased to be able to enhance their employee offering with this new approach to retirement savings, starting on January 1, 2009.”

Desjardins suggests that the group TFSA could be the latest offering for employers seeking to recruit and retain talent.

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Changing of the guard at RBC Capital Markets

(September 24, 2008) Royal Bank of Canada has announced the retirement of Chuck Winograd, the chairman and CEO of RBC Capital Markets, effective October 31, 2008.

“Chuck has led the transformation of our capital markets business to a significant and growing global concern,” said Gordon Nixon, president and CEO of RBC. “While Chuck will always credit this success story to the people in RBC Capital Markets, he played a strong and effective leadership role in our decisions to pursue new markets and enter new businesses, and the execution of these initiatives.”

Winograd will be succeeded by Doug McGregor as chairman and co-CEO, sharing the latter post with Mark Standish, who has also been appointed president. Winograd will remain with the bank to facilitate transition, into January 2009.

“These appointments are recognition of Doug and Mark’s success in driving our steady growth as a global wholesale bank,” said Nixon. “Under their joint leadership, RBC Capital Markets will continue to execute its long-term strategy and further strengthen its position as a premier investment bank around the world.”

(09/24/08) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.