Talking About Money Is No Longer Taboo: Valerie Pringle, Scotiabank’s Saving Ambassador, releases Special Report on the Financial Health of Canadians

Jun 21, 2011 | Corporate Member News

Scotiabank’s Saving Ambassador, Valerie Pringle, issues report highlighting insights and conclusions from cross-country tour

To view the Social Media Release, click here: 

Valerie Pringle, as Scotiabank’s Saving Ambassador, today launched a report highlighting the findings from her conversations with Canadians across the country as part of the Bank’s Let the Saving Begin program. According to Pringle, a lot of good can come from simply talking about finances – and Canadians have certainly been talking. Among other things, the comprehensive report concludes that when it comes to their finances, Canadians want to continue the conversation, get more financial education and become better prepared for the future. 

“Talking about money is often considered taboo, but on my tour across Canada I was pleasantly surprised at how readily the Canadians I spoke with were willing, and even happy, to talk about their finances,” said Valerie Pringle, Scotiabank Saving Ambassador. “I found that Canadians realize they are not saving enough and they genuinely want to do better. I listened to what people said about their finances from coast-to-coast and I feel this conversation is one of the most important any Canadian should be having. Talking about our finances is the first step to improving our financial health.”

In July 2010, Scotiabank introduced the Let the Saving Begin program, which was designed to inspire and empower Canadians to get on track with their saving, investing and borrowing habits. Let the Saving Begin is built on three simple principles that comprise a call to action to Canadians:

  • Save automatically, because it works;
  • Invest for your future, because no one else will; and
  • Borrow to get ahead, not fall behind.

“Scotiabank could not have chosen a better Saving Ambassador for our program and we want to thank Valerie for sharing her insights with us,” said Anatol von Hahn, Group Head, Canadian Banking, Scotiabank. “Valerie’s efforts reaffirmed the direction the Bank has taken and signals that we are achieving what we set out to do – to help us all become more aware of and engaged in our financial health.”

What Valerie Learned From Canadians
Through her discussions Pringle heard from those who had their finances on track and from others who had no idea how they were going to plan for their future. Some were already retired and some thought that they would never retire. She touched on topics from achieving balance between living today and planning for tomorrow, generational differences, successes, challenges, communication, short and long-term goals, emotive triggers, education and planning for the future.

From these conversations there were universal messages that were meaningful for everyone, and Pringle has shared three main conclusions:

  • We need to continue the conversation
  • We need more financial education
  • We need to be better prepared for the future

“We appreciate the insights that Valerie has brought forward from her Canadian tour,” said von Hahn. “At Scotiabank, we have always been committed to helping our customers become financially better off, and since the inception of Let the Saving Begin in July of 2010 we have extended this commitment by shaping a movement to help Canadians save. We will continue to build on this commitment and will expand on our existing products, services and programs in ways that address each of Valerie’s three key recommendations. We will continue the conversation, work towards enhancing financial education and help Canadians prepare for the future.”

“Virtually everyone has money that can be saved – often they just need help to find it and do it,” added Pringle. “The overwhelming message we heard is that we can all learn from each other. Finding a way to have these conversations at home, at the bank, with our friends and everywhere in between is incredibly important. By having these conversations we discover the educational opportunities and financial plans that will help us be better prepared for our future.”

What Valerie Did As Saving Ambassador
Pringle came on board as the Scotiabank Saving Ambassador in July 2010. She traveled the country on two national tours, holding ‘kitchen table’ discussions with participants in various regions. These conversations were meant to inspire discussions about saving and finances around the kitchen tables of Canadians across the country. Both tours were documented on film and shared on Facebook, allowing the whole country to join the conversation and participate in this ‘saving movement’.

She was also the moderator of Scotiabank’s live digital event on Facebook with a panel of experts including ZoomerMedia’s Moses Znaimer, urban theorist Richard Florida and ScotiaMcLeod’s Bev Moir. This was the first time that a financial institution in Canada had held a live discussion on Facebook and more than 32,000 viewers logged in.

“We travelled across the country twice, visited 16 different communities in seven provinces and spoke with hundreds of Canadians on the important topics of saving money, borrowing wisely and planning for the future,” said Pringle. “The response has been extremely rewarding and indicates a hunger for honesty and information. Canadians are talking openly to each other on the Let the Saving Begin Facebook page, which is undoubtedly just the beginning.”

Valerie Pringle’s complete report can be downloaded for print or viewed in video format at

Scotiabank is one of North America’s premier financial institutions and Canada’s most international bank. With more than 70,000 employees, Scotiabank Group and its affiliates serve some 18.6 million customers in more than 50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With assets above $571 billion (as at April 30, 2011), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit

/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as follows:


For further information:

To arrange an interview or for a copy of the full report, please contact:

Tricia Soltys

Narrative Advocacy Media
416 509-0955
[email protected] 

Karen Heath

Scotiabank Media Communications
416 866-7238
[email protected]

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