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Most not convinced financial institutions have their interests at heart

Majority believe financial institutions should help reduce debt

Vancouver, BC – While 70 per cent of Lower Mainland and Victoria residents believe financial institutions have an obligation to help them manage their debt, only 38 per cent agree their financial institution has their best interests at heart when it comes to credit card debt, according to a survey released today.

Vancity commissioned Ipsos Reid to conduct the survey to help understand the relationship between holiday spending, debt and RRSP contributions. The poll found a majority used their credit card over the holidays, but most do not plan on making a lump-sum RRSP contribution.

Of those polled:

  • 65 per cent reported using their credit card to pay for the holidays in December 2014
  • 44 per cent say financial institutions raise their credit limit to encourage credit card debt
  • 75 per cent of respondents say they will not be making a lump-sum contribution to their RRSP prior to the March deadline
  • Of those respondents who aren't making a lump-sum or additional contribution
    • 17 per cent say they never contribute to RRSPs
    • 17 per cent say their priority is to pay down debt
    • 29 per cent say they can’t afford it.

The poll also indicated only seven per cent anticipate having to carry a balance on their credit cards for their holiday spending. However, while survey respondents may have good intentions in paying off their credit card, Statistics Canada indicates the reality is about 40 per cent of Canadian families will carry a credit card balance into 2015.

To help deal with credit card debt and other money challenges, Vancity has launched the Good Money Plan™ as an accessible way for people to get financial advice and guidance. The Good Money Plan™ looks at a member’s entire financial situation including their debt, savings and investments.

Instead of encouraging members to simply invest, Vancity will recommend members follow a strategy that best meets their financial situation, which may include reducing credit card debt, paying down mortgage and/or investing in an RRSP.

Through a four-step planning process, Vancity advisors focus on understanding members' dreams for the future, giving personalized financial advice to achieve those dreams, and following up to provide support and encouragement.


Sophie Salcito, investment advisor at Vancity:
"People want financial institutions to go beyond increasing credit limits and encouraging RRSP contributions. They want a full-service approach that takes their debt, savings and investment situation into account. This may mean focusing on debt reduction rather than investments."

Additional Information:

About the poll

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll of 504 adult Metro Vancouver and Victoria residents conducted online using Ipsos Reid’s national online household panel between December 28 and 29, 2014. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and sex composition reflects that of the actual Metro Vancouver and Victoria populations according to 2011 Census data. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 5.0 percentage points had all Metro Vancouver and Victoria adults been surveyed. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 501,000 member-owners and their communities through 58 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria and Squamish. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $17.5 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

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For more information:

Lorraine Wilson | Vancity
T: 778-837-0394

Good Money Plan™ is a registered trademark of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union.


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