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Press release from Marketwire

Canadians Own 1,000 Pennies-BMO Survey Reveals if They Plan to Spend, Save, or Donate Their Coins

- Canadians currently have an average of $10.22 worth of pennies; nearly half plan to cash them in at a bank - $810,000 in pennies have been counted through BMO Coin Counters since the March 2012 announcement of the phasing out of the penny - BMO encourages Canadians to invest their "piggy banks" into a high-interest savings account

Friday, March 01, 2013

Canadians Own 1,000 Pennies-BMO Survey Reveals if They Plan to Spend, Save, or Donate Their Coins05:00 EST Friday, March 01, 2013TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 1, 2013) - According to a BMO survey released today, Canadians have an average of $10.22 worth of pennies, and almost half plan to cash them in as the copper coin begins to be phased out of circulation.Last year the federal government announced its plans to discontinue production of the penny. However, with an estimated 30 billion pennies currently in circulation, it will take some time before the one cent coin disappears from Canadian households. The survey, conducted by Pollara, reveals Canadians plans for the penny phase out, and found:Nearly half (44 per cent) plan to cash in their coins at a bank One-in-five (22 per cent) plan to spend their pennies until they are gone, while another 22 per cent plan to use them to build a coin collection for sentimental reasons Furthermore, 21 per cent plan to continue storing their pennies in a jar at home instead of putting them to use Another 20 per cent plan to donate the sum of their copper coins to charity"Canadians put into practice a number of ways to save money, and it seems many still haven't grown tired of collecting and storing loose change," said Paul Dilda, Head of North American Branch Channel, BMO Bank of Montreal. "However, rather than keeping spare change in a jar to collect dust, consider putting your pennies to use, either by donating them or storing their value in a high-interest savings account." BMO Coin CountersBMO has rolled out 72 coin counting machines across Canada since January 2011, and Canadians have taken full advantage - counting $1.25 million worth of pennies during that period. The easy-to-use service counts 4,000 coins a minute and provides the customer with a receipt of the total."Since the government's announcement on the penny's discontinuation, Canadians have cashed in $810,000 in pennies using BMO's coin counting machines - which is a significant sum," added Mr. Dilda. "BMO's Coin Counters are a convenient way to tally up loose change, and the receipt generated makes it easy to deposit the funds directly into a savings account."BMO offers the BMO Smart Saver Account: a high interest savings account that allows for unlimited deposits and transfers into and out of the account. Currently the BMO Smart Saver account offers a 1.2 per cent interest rate - the highest rate offered among Canada's major financial institutions for a full-service savings account without minimum balance requirements.BMO's Penny Survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights. The survey results cited in this release are from online interviews with a random sample of 1,400 Canadians 18 years of age and older, carried out between February 7th and February 10th, 2013. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 2.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20.About BMO Financial Group Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at January 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Contact Information: Media Contacts:Jessica Park, Toronto(416) 867-3996jessica1.park@bmo.comValerie Doucet, Montreal(514) 877-8224valerie.doucet@bmo.comLaurie Grant, Vancouver(604) 665-7596laurie.grant@bmo.comInternet: www.bmo.comTwitter: @BMOmedia