Education savings grant slow to roll out at B.C. banks

Despite being offered at over 350 credit unions in the province, the new $1,200 B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant can only be accessed at one major bank.

BMO is the only major bank to come online and offer accounts

The B.C. government has extended the deadline by which parents can apply for the B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant. (CBC)

Despite being offered at over 350 credit unions in the province, the new $1,200 B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant can only be accessed at one major bank.

Education Minister Mike Bernier announced Thursday morning the new RESP is now available at the Bank of Montreal (BMO), almost six months after the grant was officially launched.

In that time, more than 7,000 applications were made by parents through credit unions.

A spokesperson for the ministry told CBC News that there is no exact date set for the other banks to come online, but the ministry is "hopeful" that more will be ready in the next few months.

The grant is meant to encourage parents of small children to start saving early for post-secondary education and is available to parents of children born in 2007 or later.

Deadline extended

The earliest a parent can apply for the grant is when their child turns six. Originally, a parent had to have set up the RESP by the child's seventh birthday, but that has now been extended.

"Since this is a new program: if your child had their 6th birthday in 2013, 2014 or 2015, you have an extension until August 14, 2018 or the day before their ninth birthday, whichever is later to get the grant," according to the Ministry of Education website.

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