BMO - Bank of Montreal

The Bank of Montreal (BMO) was founded established in 1817 (making it the oldest bank in Canada), and now serves more than 10 million clients through personal, commercial, institutional, and corporate products and services. BMO Financial Group is accumulatively the fourth largest financial institution in Canada, and is therefore part of the Big Five. The bank is known colloquially as BMO Bank of Montreal, however its US branch is known as Harris Bank (BMO Harris). In particular, BMO has done well by expanding their operations into the Chicago area and other areas of the United States. BMO currently has about 900 branches throughout Canada and other key banking sectors of the world, with approximately $390 billion in assets, $235+ billion in deposits, and more than 36,000 employees. The Bank of Montreal is currently listed at the 189th position on the Forbes Global 2000 list.

BMO Operating Divisions
The Bank of Montreal currently offers banking products and services under three main operating divisions or 'client groups' that target various markets Personal and Commercial Banking, Private Client Group, and BMO Capital Markets. The Personal and Commercial banking services are offered through BMO in Canada, and BMO Harris bank in the United States. The Private Client Group is BMO's wealth management business (branded as BMO Nesbitt Burns, BMO InvestorLine, Harris Investor Services, and BMO Harris Private Banking). BMO Capital Markets is BMO's investment and corporate banking division. Through these various brands and divisions, the Bank of Montreal steadily expands its reach and continues to remain strong as Canada's fourth largest financial institution.

History of BMO
After being established in 1817, the bank issued bank notes from their founding year until 1942, when the Bank of Canada Act of 1934 caused the banks to relinquish their right to issue proprietary currency. However, many of the notes produced by BMO were still in circulation for many years after. The Bank of Montreal grew steadily from 1868 to 1925 due to 7 key mergers and acquisitions, which included the following financial institutions:

1868 - Commercial Bank of Canada
1903 - Exchange Bank of Yarmouth
1905 - People's Bank of Halifax
1907 - People's Bank of New Brunswick
1918 - Bank of British North America
1922 - Merchants Bank of Canada
1925 - Molson Bank

In 1977, the Bank of Montreal's operational headquarters moved to Toronto, while the official head office stayed in Montreal. In 2000, the Bank of Montreal merged their merchant credit/debit card acquiring business with Royal Bank of Canada's to form Moneris Solutions.

Products and Services

Through their user-friendly web site,. BMO offers a plethora of a products and services for personal, small business, commercial, and corporate & institutional clients. The personal products and services include chequing & savings, loans, lines of credit, Canadian credit cards, mortgages, investments (including self-directed investments), and financial planning & advice. The small business products and services include banking, business accounts, loans, commercial mortgages, and payments processing. The commercial products and services include specialized banking, business accounts & plans, loans & commercial mortgages, investing. The corporate and institutional products and services include advisory and treasury services, risk management, and institutional investing. By providing all of the above offerings, the Bank of Montreal is able to successfully accommodate the banking needs of virtually anyone, from the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, to the owner of a new small business.

BMO is recognized has been recognized as one of the 'Big Five' banks in Canada for more than a century. Being the first bank ever established in Canada, BMO is the epitome of reputability and reliability.

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