Bank of Montreal

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Bank of Montreal (BMO Financial Group)
Founded 1817
Headquarters Montreal, QC
Key People President and CEO William A. (Bill) Downe

Bank of Montreal, approaching its 200th birthday, is the flagship institution of parent company BMO Financial Group, which has significant holding beyond Canada. Like most larger banks globally, Bank of Montreal suffered significant losses in the 2007 credit market meltdown.


Bank of Montreal (BofM) was founded in 1817 and helped finance the Transcontinental Railway in the 1880s. It served as the country's central bank until 1935.[1] Parent company BMO has since made several acquisitions, most notably Chicago-based Harris Bank in 1984, but was prevented by the Canadian government from acquiring top-five competitor Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in 1998.

RBC today is Canada's largest bank by 2007 revenue with C$26.277 billion compared to fourth-ranked BofM with C$15.838 million.[2] BofM is still reeling from a C$680 writedown it was forced to take in the first quarter of 2007 after a "rogue trader" on its energy desk racked up unaccounted losses with an outside broker.[3]

Key People[edit]

President and CEO Bill Downe was promoted from chief operating officer in March 2007 after more than 20 years with the company.[4]