Call for Applications for the RBC After-School Grants Project

Deadline to apply is March 4, 2011

TORONTO, January 24, 2011— RBC today announced its call for grant applications for the 2011-2012 school year as the RBC After-School Grants Project is offering more than $2 million in grants to fund first-time and renewed grant recipients.

The grants are awarded by regional community panels made up of experts in the fields of youth and education. Each organization should have a mandate to keep students in grades K-12 safe as well as positively engaged through an enriched curriculum after their classes end each day. RBC After-School grants of up to $40,000 are provided by the RBC Foundation to programs in at-risk or underserved communities. The deadline for funding applications is March 4, 2011, and grant recipients will be advised by June 2011.

“Research has shown that participation in after-school programs helps students enhance their academic performance, improve social skills and motivate them to excel in school,” said Shari Austin, executive director, RBC Foundation. “We are looking to fund the best after school programs in the country that help bridge the gap between schoolwork and homework and offer students an opportunity to participate in a wide-range of other activities that help build self-esteem and confidence.”

To qualify for a grant, after-school programs should offer structured, supervised activities five days a week and focus on offering a variety of activities, such as, computer instruction, sports, literacy tutoring, music and art lessons, nutrition guidance, and help with homework.

RBC has been funding after-school programs since 1999, with over $22 million through 750 grants to 212 different organizations that have helped more than 24,000 children. RBC After-School Grant applications can be downloaded from

Charities wishing information about RBC’s After-School Grants program may contact Frances Bedford-Jones at
(416) 974-2176,

The young and the RRSP-less – Fewer young Canadians saving for retirement: RBC Poll

 TORONTO, January 19, 2011 — The number of Canadians aged 18 to 34 who have RRSPs has dropped to 39 per cent – the lowest level in almost a decade – and fully 45 per cent have not started saving for retirement yet, according to the 21st Annual RBC RRSP Poll.

Overall, retirement savings ranked seventh as a financial priority among younger Canadians (26 per cent). The RBC poll found that this age group is more focused on other financial goals such as regular payments to reduce or eliminate debt (56 per cent), saving for a rainy day (45 per cent) and homeownership (44 per cent).

The declining number of younger Canadians with RRSPs confirms a downward trend identified in last year’s RBC RRSP Poll and discussed in an RBC Economics report issued in January 2010.

“We’re seeing other financial priorities become increasingly top of mind for younger Canadians who may not realize they are missing out on one of Canada’s best income tax savings vehicles, as well as the potential to grow their investments more quickly,” said Lee Anne Davies, head, Retirement Strategy, RBC. “Retirement may seem far off in the future and we understand that paying off debt, purchasing your first home or raising young families presents competing financial needs, but building a secure future can and should be part of any plan to meet those needs.”

The RBC poll also found that, despite ranking homeownership as third on their financial priorities list, younger Canadians may be under-utilizing the RRSP benefits available to first-time homebuyers. A federal government program allows for tax-free RRSP withdrawals to help finance the first purchase of a new home; yet only six per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds withdrew money from their RRSP to purchase a home in the past year.

“Younger Canadians’ relatively low participation in the government’s first-time homebuyer’s program may in part reflect a lack of understanding about what an RRSP can do for you well ahead of your retirement years,” added Davies. “The start of the year is a very good time to sit down with your financial planner or visit your bank branch and find out what your retirement and investment options are and to make sure you are making the most of the resources available to you.”

2010 RRSP Fast Facts – Canadians aged 18 to 34

  • The number of Canadians aged 18-34 who have RRSPs dropped to 39 per cent, which is the lowest number in almost a decade and a five percentage point drop from 2009.
  • The overall number of Canadian adults who have RRSPs jumped to 61 per cent, up from 54 per cent in 2009.
  • Canadian RRSP holders in the 18-34 age group are most likely to maximize their RRSP contribution (33 per cent) for the 2010 tax year.
  • A quarter of Canadians with RRSPs (24 per cent) plan to maximize their contribution for 2010.
  • Thirty-five per cent of all Canadians make regular weekly or bi-weekly contributions to their RRSPs with Canadians aged 18-34 making up almost half (47 per cent) of this group.
  • One-in-three RRSP investors (34 per cent) make regular contributions through a plan, 45 per cent of whom are Canadians aged 18-34.

Charts related to the 2010 RBC RRSP Poll are available online at

Whether Canadians want RRSP and retirement savings advice or to borrow with confidence, the RBC Advice Centre ( is updated regularly to reflect current trends and answer the questions that are top of mind. Interactive tools and calculators provide customized information covering many facets of personal finance.

Poll background
These are some of the findings from the RBC 21st Annual RRSP Poll conducted by Ipsos Reid between October 29 and November 4, 2010. For this survey, a national sample of 1,457 adults from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel were interviewed, of which 184 were 18 to 34-year-olds. The results are based on samples where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. A weighted probability sample of 1,457 Canadian respondents, with 100 per cent response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of ±3 per cent, 19 times out of 20. A weighted probability sample of 184 18 to 34-year-old respondents, with 100 per cent response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of ±7.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Your Future by Design® is RBC’s distinctive approach to help clients identify, plan, and realize their goals for retirement. With the guidance of RBC financial planners and investment and retirement planners, Your Future by Design helps clients create a blueprint for a successful lifestyle and financial plan for retirement based on what is truly important to them in key areas in life, including family, health, home, lifestyle, work/business, mind and spirit, and legacy. To find out more about how RBC can help build a blueprint for the future, visit or call 1-866-335-4055.

TransUnion To Pay $5,000 For Privacy Breach

A federal court judge has set a precedent by ordering TransUnion of Canada Inc. to pay $5,000 in damages to a Calgary man who was turned down by a bank after another man’s credit history was wrongly forwarded. 

Federal Court Justice Russel Zinn ruled that on the basis of the privacy breach and repeated failures by the credit rating agency, TransUnion of Canada to correct the “grossly inaccurate” information quickly and effectively a payback to the victim is warranted, along with an award of $1,000 in legal costs.

Mirza Nammo represented himself in court and persuaded Justice Zinn to make the first ever damage award for a breach of the federal privacy act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

Justice Zinn compared the dissemination of false credit information to a strip search in that it lays “bare to those receiving the information the creditworthiness of a person” and therefore can be “equally intrusive, embarrassing and humiliating as a brief a respectful strip search”.  Zinn also elaborated that in this case, while the act was “serious,” it was “relatively brief and not extremely disrespectful” and therefore warrants “moderate” damages.

The situation started when Nammo went to the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) for a loan to help start a trucking business with a partner.  The next day RBC advised him that his loan was not approved “because he had ‘bad credit’ and his partner did not have a financial background sufficient to support a loan of the necessary amount on his own credit.”

It didn’t take long for Nammo to discover that TransUnion had provided RBC with information that came from a collection agency and was related to a man with a different name and date of birth and who had never lived at any of the same addresses Nammo had lived at.  We’re not talking about a minor difference either, Nammo is 44 and the other person is 28.

Although the collection agency denied passing on the information related to Nammo, it was a bureaucratic mess to correct the record.  So much so that Zinn found that overall TransUnion “failed to collect accurate information” on Nammo, failed to correct the erro and failed to take responsibility to begin with. 

In the end Nammo won the day with the judge saying that the credit rating agency’s attempts to lay blame on Nammo during arguments in court was “offensive”.

This ruling could set the stage for many more lawsuits against not just banks, but any bureaucratic organization whose employees are negligent in their diligence or in listening to common sense.  With more cases like this it will eventually cause corporations to implement some common sense within their organizations rather than blind policies and procedures.  This is a subject that is covered in ‘The Banker Who Saved His Soul’.

Baldo Minaudo
President, MetroActive Lifestyle Network
Senior Consultant, Venturemind Corporation