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According to a CIBC poll, 26 per cent of respondents named debt reduction as their key financial goal for 2016, the sixth straight year it has claimed top spot on the list.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

A new CIBC poll suggests that paying down debt remains the top financial priority of Canadians, but it's a goal the bank says many appear to be having difficulty meeting.

According to the poll, 26 per cent of respondents named debt reduction as their key financial goal for 2016, the sixth straight year it has claimed top spot on the list.

Keeping up with bills or getting by came in second, cited as the main priority of 18 per cent of respondents.

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CIBC executive vice-president Christina Kramer says the fact debt reduction has remained atop the list for so long, coupled with studies showing household debt remains at record highs, shows that many Canadians are not making the headway they desire.

The online survey or 1,508 Angus Reid Forum panelists was conducted Dec. 7-8.

The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

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