Canadians own 1,000 pennies: BMO
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 that early 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.
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.
BMO 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 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 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.