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BMO Financial Group survey finds Canadians Trust Their Banks with their Privacy  


Canadians are more comfortable trusting their personal information with their banks than they are with their employers and their government, a BMO Financial Group / Leger Marketing survey found. 

When asked whom they trusted the most with their personal information, 36 per cent of respondents said banks, 27 per cent cited their employers and 16 per cent answered the government. Utilities and online consumer sites received the lowest scores on this question, with two per cent and one per cent of respondents choosing these categories respectively.

“The findings are consistent with our belief that trust is a key factor in securing and building lasting client relationships,” said Dina Palozzi, Chief Privacy Officer, BMO Financial Group and Executive Vice-President, Client Relations, BMO Nesbitt Burns. “In any business, privacy of personal information is important; in banking, it is essential. We take our responsibility to respect and protect the privacy and confidentiality of our clients’ personal information very seriously.”

The majority of respondents (77 per cent) said they like and trust their banks with their money and personal information. In addition, the survey found that 42 per cent of respondents believed that banks do a better job responding to customer complaints compared to other companies such as retail centres (ranked second at 27 per cent) and telephone companies (ranked third at eight per cent). 

Being treated with dignity was clearly key to most consumers in the complaints-handling process. Respondents said they were most concerned with having their complaints being listened to (29 per cent) and taken seriously (27 per cent) versus having complaints resolved in their favour (eight per cent).

Other survey findings include:

  • Eighty-two per cent of females like and trust their banks with their money and personal information, compared with 72 per cent of males
  • Women tend more than men to be concerned with having their complaints listened to (32 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively)
  • People aged 65 and above are more likely to rate the relationship with their bank as excellent (38 per cent)
  • Seventy-six percent of respondents said a bank's good corporate citizenship, through activities such as sponsorships, is somewhat important to very important in deciding which bank to open an account with and to stay with.

The survey took place among 1,500 Canadian households between February 18 and 24, 2003.   A sample of this size will provide results that can be considered accurate for the population overall to within plus or minus 2.2 per cent 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group (NYSE, TSX: BMO) is a highly diversified financial services organization. With average assets of $259 billion as at January 31, 2003 and more than 34,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions. BMO Financial Group serves clients across Canada and in the United States through its Canadian retail arm BMO Bank of Montreal, Chicago-based Harris Bank, a major U.S. mid-west financial services organization which also has wealth management offices across the United States, and BMO Nesbitt Burns, one of Canada's leading full-service investment firms.