BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

March 14, 2012 11:54 ET

BMO Financial Group 2011 Public Accountability Statement Available

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 14, 2012) - BMO Financial Group's 2011 Public Accountability Statement (PAS) is now available at www.bmo.com/corporateresponsibility. The PAS outlines certain aspects of Bank of Montreal's contributions, and the contributions of the bank's affiliates with operations in Canada, to the Canadian economy and society.

"The role we play at BMO is unequivocal: we're here to help our customers succeed," said Bill Downe, President and CEO, BMO Financial Group. "As we reflect on 2011, we know that we've helped our customers navigate a world of persistent change by staying true to our objectives of giving customers knowledge and control and remembering that the beliefs that define what we do don't change. This includes supporting communities, everywhere we do business."

In 2011:

  • BMO donated $30 million to support registered charities, not-for-profit groups and community organizations in Canada.
  • BMO introduced the Team of the Week program, which supports children's soccer at the community level.
  • The BMO Employee Giving Campaign set new records for donations, pledges and participation. In Canada, 73 per cent of employees participated in the campaign and directed more than $8.9 million to local United Way organizations and other charities.
  • BMO launched BMO SmartSteps for Business to provide advice about business banking for small and medium-sized business owners. Furthermore, the BMO SmartSteps for Business online community highlights all of the online resources available to help small business customers.
  • To promote financial literacy, BMO developed a series of financial tips, released every weekday during National Financial Literacy Week. BMO was the only Canadian financial institution to provide these financial tips.
  • BMO also launched a number of online resources, including:
    • BMO SmartSteps for Students, which helps educate Canadian students on money management.
    • BMO MoneyLogic, a free personal money management tool to help customers set and track day-to-day finances.
  • BMO provides 985,378 seniors with free banking services.
  • BMO also provided low cost and free banking services to almost 60,000 local not-for-profit associations and groups.
  • 112,990 students received free banking services from BMO.
  • BMO announced it is making a major investment in higher education in New Brunswick with a $1.75 million gift to the University of New Brunswick, the largest single donation ever made in Atlantic Canada by BMO and also the single largest gift received by UNB from a corporate donor.
  • BMO introduced a first for Canadian business banking customers: a service that supports secure payments using mobile devices. Now customers can make payment decisions anytime, anywhere through text messaging and email.

"Banks are vital intermediaries in the creation of economic growth. We play a role in society that is necessary to maintain the stability of the economic system - not as a separate responsibility, but as a consequence of managing our own business responsibly," said Mr. Downe. "Whether we're promoting financial literacy to help families control their spending or providing strategic counsel along with commercial loans, we're furthering our mandate as both facilitators and beneficiaries of a dynamic, robust economy. This is the privileged role that society entrusts to banks."

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