BMO Harris Bank Study Shows Three Quarters of U.S. Parents Will Open a Bank Account for Their Children

BMO Harris Bank Study Shows Three Quarters of U.S. Parents Will Open a Bank 
Account for Their Children 
CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 04/08/14 -- 

--  74 percent of Americans have or plan to open a bank account for their
--  BMO Harris Bank marking Money Smart Week and Teach Children to Save
    Day with various financial education events around the country
--  New BMO Harris Bank "Your Financial Life" hub provides tips for
    parents on saving, smart spending and raising a financially savvy

BMO Harris Bank is marking national Money Smart Week (April 5-12) and
Teach Children to Save Day (April 11) with a new report that found 74
percent of parents with young children have, or are planning to open
a bank account for their child, with most of those parents (44
percent) opening the account before their child turns 5. However, one
quarter (26 percent) will not open an account at all. 
The survey, which polled parents with children under ten and
Americans who are planning to have their first child in the next five
years, also found that in Illinois:  

--  Sixteen percent of parents have opened or plan to open an account when
    their child is between the ages of 5 and 9
--  Seven percent have opened or will open an account when their child is
    between 10 and 12, and the same percentage will do so when their child
    is 13 and 17
--  Higher (77 per cent) and middle (80 per cent) income families are more
    likely to open a bank account for their children than lower (65 per
    cent) income families

"The good news is that many parents have passed that first step --
recognizing the importance of helping their children save, and going
into a bank to get started," said Alex Dousmanis-Curtis, Head, Retail
Banking, BMO Harris Bank. "It's never too early to provide your
children with the financial education that they will carry into their
later years, whether it's giving them a small allowance, engaging
them in basic money decisions, or opening up a savings accounts."  
The study was released to coincide with two important financial
literacy events, Money Smart Week and Teach Children to Save Day.  
Money Smart Week, an annual event originated in 2002 by the Federal
Reserve Bank of Chicago, aims to increase awareness about personal
finance among consumers. Through partner organizations, the event has
grown in reach and scope and is now recognized across the U.S. Teach
Your Children to Save Day was established by the American Bankers
Association in 1997, providing students with lessons on the
importance of saving. 
This year's Money Smart Week will be held April 5 to 12, and hundreds
of adults and children in communities served by BMO Harris will take
part in activities ranging from money management seminars to the
Money Smart Kid Essay Contest. There will also be 44 mortgage events
nationwide, ranging in topics from "Understanding Your Credit" to
"Steps to Homeownership."  
BMO Harris offers the following tips for parents and children on how
to start to be a smart saver and investor from an early age through
later teenage years: 
The Early Years: The Value of Saving  

--  As soon as children start to collect a few coins and understand the
    value of money, open a savings account for them and explain how
    interest works.
--  Focus on a specific goal (such as buying a video game or a bike),
    which can make it easier for kids to set aside the money.
--  Suggest children save at least part of the cash they receive -- for
    birthdays, holidays or jobs -- for something they really want.
--  This stage is also an opportunity to teach them about the importance
    of giving back. Explain to them how donations work, and find one or
    two organizations that tie into their specific interests. Instilling a
    sense of charity early on will help broaden their sense of the value
    of money.

Taking Action: Learn the Marketplace 

--  Talk about the concept of risk and the importance of having a balanced
    investment portfolio. Use language they understand and keep to key,
    simple concepts.
--  Explain that purchasing a stock means they own a small piece of a
    company and the value of the stock can go up or down.
--  Show them how to read stock prices online. If you have an online
    investing account, walk them through your portfolio and explain to
    them the rationale for your portfolio's composition and any
    trades/changes you make.

Getting Real: Becoming an Investor 

--  Once the groundwork has been set, have kids invest a small sum of
    money in a few stocks they were previously tracking and perhaps offer
    to match any gains the child makes in their stock picks.
--  Teach kids about the different savings and investing instruments
    available to them, such as 504 Plans and money market accounts for
    longer-term purchases.

For more information about planning for the next Life Stage, visit  
Survey results cited in this release are from a Pollara survey
commissioned by BMO Harris Bank with an online sample of 1,500
Americans between November 22nd and 29th, 2013. This includes 993
interviews with parents of children under 10 and 507 interviews with
Americans who expect to have their first child in the next 5 years.
The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is +/- 2.5
percent, 19 times out of 20. 
About BMO Harris Bank
 BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of
personal banking products and solutions through more than 600
branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin,
Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris
Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector
expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S.
For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact
sheet. Banking products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank
N.A. and are subject to bank or credit approval. BMO Harris Bank(R)
is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris
Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial
organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and CDN $593 billion
in assets (as of January 31, 2014). 
Media Contact: 
Alexis Brown
(312) 461-6543 
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