TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 9, 2011) - The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) welcomed today's report from the Task Force on Financial Literacy, and its approach for a national strategy to increase financial literacy among Canadians. The CBA was among the many groups to make a submission to the Task Force and appeared before it as part of its nationwide consultations.

"The Task Force rightly recognizes that a strong national economy is built on the foundation of a financially literate population, where people can make informed decisions and take control of their financial future," said Nancy Hughes Anthony, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Bankers Association. "We encourage the federal government to use the report in its next steps to improve financial literacy across the country."

Among the report's recommendations, the Task Force has called for the development of a federally run, single-source website where Canadians can access information and materials related to a broad range of financial matters. This was one of the recommendations that the CBA submitted to the Task Force last April, and one which the CBA believes will benefit all Canadians at different stages throughout their lives.

"We were very pleased to see this recommendation in today's report. I think there is a great need for an online, one-stop source that provides financial information for all Canadians – from students and new home owners, to employers and retirees," said Ms. Hughes Anthony. "The financial needs of Canadians are diverse and change throughout the course of a lifetime. Creating a site that people know they can return to for reliable financial information would have great value indeed."

In its submission to the Task Force the CBA also suggested that federal, provincial and territorial governments work together to make financial education a part of school systems across the country. This was another recommendation included in today's report.

"We hope governments move forward with the Task Force's curriculum recommendations," said Ms. Hughes Anthony. "Educating young Canadians on financial matters within the formal school system will ensure they have the skills to help them make sound financial decisions throughout their lives."

The Task Force also recommended that progress on the national strategy be measured and assessed against specific targets. This too was among the suggestions put forward in the CBA's submission and will help ensure that best practices are identified moving forward.

Ms. Hughes Anthony noted that the CBA and its member banks have been dedicated to boosting financial literacy levels for years, and that banks in Canada are always looking for ways to improve how they reach out and provide information to their customers.

"Banks in Canada recognize they have a shared responsibility in contributing to Canadians' financial literacy. Each day millions of Canadians turn to banks for advice to help them save, buy homes, start businesses and plan for retirement. Our institutions will continue to look for ways to effectively reach out to Canadians about financial matters."

For over a decade, the CBA has brought financial literacy to Canadians through its high school seminar program, YourMoney, which has taught more than 197,000 senior high school students about budgeting, borrowing, saving, investing, and protecting themselves from fraud. The non-commercial seminar uses volunteer bankers from the local community to teach young Canadians about responsible money management. YourMoney is offered in collaboration with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC).

The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 51 domestic banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 260,000 employees. The CBA advocates for effective public policies that contribute to a sound, successful banking system that benefits Canadians and Canada's economy. The Association also promotes financial literacy to help Canadians make informed financial decisions.

Follow the CBA on Twitter: @CdnBankers

Contact Information: Canadian Bankers Association
Andrew Addison
(416) 362-6093, ext. 220 or Cell: (416) 587-7733