TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 22, 2011) - With Christmas less than five weeks away, many Canadians are roaming the malls, trying to find the perfect gifts for their loved-ones. If you have children on your list, give them something truly long-lasting and valuable – a head start at post-secondary education savings.

"You can help your child succeed in achieving their career dreams by saving now for their post-secondary education. It's important to plan ahead so that they have the right financial tools for school," said Terry Campbell, President of the Canadian Bankers Association. "Canada has some great programs to help families save and, the good news is, the federal government will contribute to those savings. This is a great gift idea for parents, grandparents, families and friends because anyone can contribute and help the savings grow."

Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) are accounts offered by a number of financial institutions, including banks, that allow people to save for post-secondary education, and the money in the account grows tax-free. And with the Canada Education Savings Grant, the federal government will give you 20 per cent on every dollar of the first $2,500 you save in an RESP each year.

The Canada Learning Bond is another government incentive to help children in modest-income families. Under the program, the Government of Canada will make a one-time payment of $500 into an RESP plus provide $100 a year until the child turns 15 years old, to a maximum of $2000.

November is Financial Literacy Month

November is Financial Literacy Month and what better time, ahead of the holiday season, to teach children about the importance of savings. The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) has a few suggestions on how to help your children start learning good money management habits now.

"Understanding how to save, invest and budget is just as important as knowing your ABCs," said Mr. Campbell. "Banks offer a lot of information to help children, and even adults, better understand how to manage their money."

Helpful information:

  • The Canadian Bankers Association offers free in-class financial literacy seminars for classrooms – teachers can learn more and sign-up at

  • Don't wait until the New Year to make financial resolutions. For more consumer information on a variety of financial topics, check out

  • Take action by learning more. Many of the organizations participating in Financial Literacy Month have educational information and programs conducted by experts across Canada. A list of organizations and their programs can be found at:

The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 52 domestic banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 267,000 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 and works with banks and law enforcement to help protect customers against financial crime and promote fraud awareness.

Follow the CBA on Twitter: @CdnBankers.

Contact Information:

Canadian Bankers Association
Rachel Swiednicki
(416) 362-6093, ext. 220 or Cell: (416) 587-7733